In Brief

Nelson Mandela's will divides estate worth £2.5m

Mandela's will splits his estate between family, schools, staff and the ANC

NELSON MANDELA has bequeathed more than £2.5m to his family, the schools that educated him, the staff who served him – and the ANC.

His estate, which includes properties in Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape, has been provisionally valued at 46 million rand (£2.53m), estate executor Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Mosenke revealed. The total value is likely to increase as royalties from his autobiography continue to flow in.

The 40-page will was written in 2004 and updated several times, most recently in 2008.

The Nelson Mandela Family Trust will receive R1.5 million (£83,000) as well as a share of future royalties. Graça Machel, Mandela’s third wife, is likely to waive her claim to half of the estate, her lawyers told South African news service News24.

Mandela bestowed R100,000 (£5,500) to several of his previous schools, including a secondary school in his home village of Qunu and Wits University in Johannesburg. The money will be put into scholarship programmes.

"I am particularly concerned about the educational needs of the children of Qunu," Mandela wrote in his will.

It was also revealed that 10 to 30 per cent of royalties from the estate would be given to the ANC, the party which Mandela led to victory in 1994. In recent years, the ANC has been accused of failing to live up to its former leader’s ideals.

Phillip de Wett, associate editor at the Mail and Guardian in South Africa, described the bequest as “an election gift for the ANC.”

“Not the cash,” he tweeted, “but the association. Good luck trying to separate him from the party now.”

Mandela also acknowledged the care given to him by various members of his staff and left several of them each R50,000 (£2,750)

Mosenke told journalists that so far the will had not been contested. Family members have 90 days to lodge an objection.

Nelson Mandela: bronze rabbit in Madiba's 'ear' outrages SA

23 January 

SCULPTORS have been ordered to remove a small bronze rabbit that was discovered in the ear of a new statue of Nelson Mandela.

The tiny rabbit has "sparked outrage" from the South African government which says it compromises the dignity of the 30-foot high memorial.

So, how did a bunny end up in the ear of the anti-apartheid icon?

Artists Ruhan Janse van Vuuren and Andre Prinsloo said they added the animal as a "personal stamp" after the authorities stopped them from engraving their signatures on the sculpture, ITV News reports.

The South African newspaper Beeld offers a different theory. It says the sculptors inserted the animal because it represents the pressure they were under to finish the statue on time. Beeld points out that "haas", the word for rabbit in the Dutch-based Afrikaans language, also means "haste."

Whatever, the reasons for its existence, the rabbit has upset many people in a country still mourning its greatest leader.


Dali Tambo, the son of the anti-apartheid figure Oliver Tambo, said he was furious when he heard about the rabbit, and said it must go, The Independent reports.

"That statue isn't just a statue of a man, it's the statue of a struggle, and one of the most noble in human history," Tambo said. "So it's belittling, in my opinion, if you then take it in a jocular way and start adding rabbits in the ear."

The statue, which depicts a smiling Mandela standing with his hands out-stretched was unveiled outside the Union Buildings – the government's Pretoria headquarters – a day after his burial. South African President, Jacob Zuma, said the gesture was designed to show that Mandela had embraced the entire nation.

South Africa's arts and culture department said it didn't know the two sculptors had added a rabbit. "It doesn't belong there," a spokesman said. "The statue represents what everyone in South Africa is proud of."

The spokesman also told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that it was not appropriate "because Nelson Mandela never had a rabbit on his ear".

Discussions are now taking place on the best way to "retain the integrity of the sculpture without causing any damage or disfigurement."

Mandela funeral: moment of grace after 'farcical' memorial

16 December

FINALLY, after nine "mismanaged and sometimes farcical" days of mourning, Nelson Mandela's funeral was the send-off he deserved, the Daily Mail says.

In stark contrast to the chaotic scenes at the giant memorial service in Johannesburg last week, yesterday's funeral in rural Qunu was "profoundly moving", the paper says. It was "an occasion of sublime grace, punctuated with moments of poignancy and humour, high drama and raw emotion".

The Mail says the four-hour ceremony was not beyond reproach: the preference given to VIPs over relatives was particularly irksome. But the speeches from those who really "knew and loved" the apartheid-era icon hit home in a way that accolades from dignitaries and heads of state were unable to do.

The Daily Telegraph says the "pomp and martial display" of yesterday's funeral seemed at odds with Mandela the man - a humble, informal leader. Some long-winded speeches saw the event over-running by at least two hours and there was no oratory to match President Obama's stirring performance at Soccer City Stadium.

But in its latter stages funeral achieved a degree of "intimacy and poignancy" when a select group of about 450 relatives, friends and dignitaries watched the ritual slaughtering of an ox and saw Mandela's body interred near to those of his sons. These moments were not televised at the request of his family.

Mandela's grave, enclosed behind compound walls, will not be allowed to evolve into a national shrine, the Telegraph says. But there is no need for that. "The monument to the greatest ancestor of the Thembu walks and talks and can be seen all around: a free people, equal under a system of law that does not discriminate on grounds of colour."

The Guardian says that the day of the funeral "felt more sombre" than those that had preceded it. "This was the day the light went out," the paper says. The "finality" lent the occasion a "seriousness".

Among those taking part was Lieutenant Colonel Piet Paxton of the South African army, who extinguished the flame at Mandela’s graveside after a 21-gun salute. "There's no way to describe it or to imagine it happening again," he said. "Not on this scale. It was a privilege and an honour to be part of it."

For The Independent, the last acts commemorating the life and death of probably the most famous man in the world were "serene and peaceful", in sharp contrast to the "tumult, rancour and extraordinary international attention of the last ten days".

It was an opportunity, the paper says, to look back to a time of unity, solidarity and hope. The disillusionment with contemporary politics - so publicly expressed in the relentless heckling of Jacob Zuma as he tried to give his keynote speech at last week's memorial - was kept very much at a distance.

Qunu: Mandela's funeral will be 'a careful balancing act'

13 December

NELSON MANDELA will be laid to rest in his home village of Qunu on Sunday after lying in state in Pretoria for three days.

The event, held in the rural Eastern Cape village, will be attended by between 4,000 and 6,000 invited guests. These include Prince Charles, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Reverend Jessie Jackson Jr and numerous other heads of state and foreign dignitaries, the South African government confirmed today.

The invitation list has caused resentment in the small village. Some neighbours felt ‘snubbed’ when the government failed to say how many villagers would be allowed to attend the funeral, reports the South African Independent Online.

Chief of the Gebe tribe in the Eastern Cape, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa said that by prioritising foreign guests, organisers were “taking Mandela away from his people” and ignoring Xhosa traditions.

 “The people from Qunu, the people who made him, have been denied the opportunity to be with him,” he said.

The funeral has been described by local media as a difficult and “careful balancing act” that will attempt to honour official protocol as well as Xhosa funeral traditions and practices.

District mayor Makhosazana Meth said that residents would be able to watch the service on several big screens across the village.

Over 12,000 South African military personnel will be on patrol in the village during the funeral, ensuring only those with full accreditation are allowed entry.

Nelson Mandela: thousands line streets to pay last respects

11 December 

NELSON MANDELA'S body is lying in state at the main government building in Pretoria as South Africa embarks on a three-day period of mourning.

Thousands of people provided a "guard of honour" yesterday as the body of the former president was driven from a hospital mortuary to the Union Buildings. The public, heads of state and international guests will be able to view the body of the apartheid-era icon who died last Thursday, aged 95.

People who want to see the body, which is lying in a glass-topped coffin, have been told their mobile phones will have to be switched off and be put out of sight before they will be allowed to file past his remains, Sky News reports. No photos will be allowed.

Mandela's body will be driven along the same route two more times this week to allow more South Africans to pay their respects. On Sunday, he will be buried next to his relatives in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu where he was born.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Prince Charles will represent the Queen at the funeral in Qunu. The monarch has said the length of the journey means she will be unable to attend.

When asked how he would like to be remembered Mandela once said: "It would be very egotistical of me to say how I would like to be remembered. "I'd leave that entirely to South Africans. I would just like a simple stone on which is written, 'Mandela'."

Nelson Mandela memorial service: ten key moments

10 December

TODAY’S memorial service for Nelson Mandela was one of the biggest gatherings of international dignitaries in recent years, with more than 90 global leaders travelling to the Soweto FNB stadium. They were joined by thousands of lively mourners who ignored torrential rain to pay their respects to the former South African leader. Here are ten key moments from the day: 

Obama-Castro handshake: US President Barack Obama shook the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro (pictured above). Commentators said it was only the second time the leaders of both countries have shaken hands since the start of the Cuban Revolution in 1960. One US official described it as a sign of Obama’s willingness to reach out to US enemies.

Winnie-Graca hug: The two women who shared Mandela’s life received loud cheers ahead of the ceremony. Mandela’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and his widow, Graca Machel, hugged and held onto each other for a few moments before taking their seats.

Tardy Obama: As the ceremony kicked off there were reports that the US president had only just left his Johannesburg hotel. Luckily for him the whole ceremony was running an hour late, so he made it in time to make his own speech. The crowds cheered loudly as he arrived.

Punctual Cameron: Meanwhile, David Cameron was boasting to the BBC that he was one of the first to arrive. “I didn't want to get stuck in the traffic,” he said. “Very British, very punctual, get here on time.” Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown were reportedly delayed.

Boos for Zuma: South African President Jacob Zuma was booed by sections of the crowd when he entered the stadium and later when he gave his speech. He has come under fire for allegedly spending millions of rand of taxpayers’ money on a swimming pool and other facilities at his private home. The booing was widely condemned by South Africans as inappropriate.

Ban-Ki moon speech: The UN Secretary General gave his condolences to the Mandela family and the nation. “South Africa has lost a hero, a father, and the world has lost a friend and mentor,” he said. “Nelson Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of our time – he was one of our greatest teachers, and taught by example.”

Torrential rain: The unseasonal downpour failed to dampen spirits in the stadium and was even seen as a good omen. Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC deputy president and master of ceremonies for the day, apologised for the weather. “We were not able to stop the rain, but this is how Nelson Mandela would have wanted to be sent on,” he said. “These are blessings. In the African tradition, it means the gods are welcoming you and the gates of heaven are open.”

Lively crowds: Ramaphosa repeatedly begged the noisy crowds to quieten down and stop interrupting the speakers. “Mandela was disciplined, let's send him off with discipline,” he urged. Mourners continued to sing, dance and blow vuvuzelas. One South African urged international viewers not to be too hard on the crowds. “We sing when we are sad. We sing when we are happy... singing is part and parcel of our being,” she said.

Celeb spotting: Musician Bono and model Naomi Campbell were among the celebrity mourners to turn out for the memorial, but one of the loudest cheers from the crowd was for the South African actress Charlize Theron.

Obama speech: Many mourners cited Obama's speech as the highlight of the day, said the Daily Telegraph, with some even lauding it as the best he has given since his election speech in 2008. “The world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us,” the US president told the crowds. “His struggle was your struggle; his triumph was your triumph. Your freedom, your democracy, are his cherished legacy.”

Nelson Mandela: downpour as thousands sing farewell 

10 December 

JOHANNESBURG has been blanketed in unseasonal cloud and rain as tens of thousands of people gather for Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

But the torrential rain has not dampened the mood in the 95,000-seat stadium. Crowds sang and danced in the stands, while one programme director said Mandela would have considered it a good sign. "The gates of heaven are probably open," he said, as the crowd cheered.

The memorial started about an hour behind schedule and the venue was only half full when it got underway as thousands remained outside the stadium. Those at the event blamed the heavy traffic in the area, tight security and rain for the delay. Workers were still putting together the entrance to a VIP area as the first spectators arrived.

Other “overflow” stadiums in the area equipped with giant screens were said to be largely empty.

Mandela's grandchildren spoke to the crowds of well-wishers, describing their grandfather as a great tree that has fallen.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also made a speech, calling Mandela one of the “world’s greatest teachers”. He added that South Africa “has lost a hero”.

Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC that the heads of state and government lounge was “an extraordinary scene”. He added: “A lot of other business will be done, I suspect. A lot of other meetings and a lot of other diplomacy will be going on up there. I'm sure there will be a lot of conversations up there, of course about Madiba and what he did for South Africa, but I suspect quite a lot of bilateral chats and other chats will be had because there will be some leaders, as you say, that we don't see that often.”

Nelson Mandela memorial in pictures

Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures   

Nelson Mandela: Obama and Castro to speak at memorial

10 December 2013

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama will share a stage with Cuban President Raul Castro at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela today.

Tens of thousands of people are gathering at the 95,000-seat FNB stadium in Johannesburg (pictured above) for the service, which was due to begin at 9.00am GMT.

Three “overflow” stadiums will use big screens to broadcast the tributes to Mandela, who died at the age of 95 last Thursday.

The official guest list for the mourning ceremonies includes 52 presidents, 16 prime ministers, three vice-presidents, one king, four crown princes and one grand duke, reports The Times.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband will attend, along with former British prime ministers Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major.

Four of Mandela's grandchildren are expected to make speeches, along with Andrew Mlangeni, Mandela's friend and fellow former Robben Island prisoner. Obama and Castro will be among six foreign leaders to speak at the service.

South African government officials have insisted that they are ready for the biggest gathering of global leaders in recent history – although this morning workers could still be seen on scaffolding at the front of the stage trying to finish last-minute construction. Tickets have not been issued either. Officials have promised to turn people away only once “numbers become unmanageable”.

The tens of thousands of South Africans who make it into the stadium and scramble for a seat will find themselves “thrust into a crucible of grief, pride and unlikely political shoulder-rubbing”, says the Times.

Three former US presidents, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, will be there, as well as Francois Hollande of France, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

Some of the most notable absences will be the Dalai Lama, who has twice failed to get a visa to South Africa, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu has cited high travel and security costs. However, BBC’s Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly says there will be suspicion that he wishes to avoid the potential for anti-Israeli protests, as Israel had extensive links with the old apartheid regime.

Mandela's memorial a 'security headache' for South Africa

9 December 2013

PAYING tribute to Nelson Mandela will be the "principal occupation" at the Houses of Parliament in London today as MPs and peers line up to commemorate the life and achievements of South Africa's first black president.

The tributes, which will be paid during the opening of business in both houses, will be followed by a civic event at Westminster Hall later in the week. It was the venue for Mandela's historic address to both houses in 1996, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, the arrangements for Mandela's state funeral in his birthplace, Qunu, as well as Tuesday's public memorial service at the Soweto stadium in Johannesburg, are taking shape.

Prince Charles will represent the Queen at the funeral on 15 December, because the length of the journey means the monarch is unable to attend, the BBC reports.

The four-hour memorial service in Johannesburg will be attended by a who's-who of heads of state and celebrities, the Daily Telegraph reports. At least 50 world leaders including David Cameron and President Obama will be there as well as entertainers including Bono, Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Oprah Winfrey and the Spice Girls.

Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani has confirmed he'll attend Tuesday's service as will Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. Indeed the only countries which haven't confirmed if any of their dignitaries will attend the event are Russia, Israel, Libya and Syria, sources said.

The Telegraph says Obama is likely to make an address at the stadium and some of the musicians on the invitation list are likely to perform. No details have been released to date.

The memorial service throws up "almost unheard-of challenges for the South African government and the international security services mandated to protect their VIPs", according to The Telegraph. The government has said that any member of the public who wants to attend the service will be free to do so without prior accreditation. In a bid to ward off "terror scares", a large portion of Johannesburg's arterial roads and airspace will be closed.

The scale of the two events appears to have caught South African authorities off guard, The Guardian says. There were chaotic scenes at Johannesburg's Nasrec Expo centre yesterday as several hundred of the estimated 3,000 local and international journalists covering the event scrambled to get official accreditation.

When a broken printer slowed registrations to a crawl, the vast car park became a "bedlam of swearing in many languages", the paper says. One or two journalists from local media skipped the queue by appealing to officials in Xhosa and Afrikaans.

Nelson Mandela: the world mourns a lost hero

6 December

THE theme running through Nelson Mandela’s life was “his unshakeable belief that one human being can change the course of history dramatically for the better”, writes David Blair in the Daily Telegraph.

To Blair, Mandela was “perhaps the only global hero” in an age where ubiquitous scepticism makes people unwilling to canonise public figures.

But Mandela was much more than a politician (although he was a skilled one). “In a bitterly divided South Africa,” writes Blair, “Mandela won the love of almost all his compatriots.”

South Africans poured onto the streets as the body of the former president – the country's first to be elected democratically – was moved from his home in Johannesburg to Pretoria, the South African capital. He will be laid to rest in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on 15 December.

Writing in The Times, Jonathan Clayton says Mandela was “no saint”, but few human beings could rival his greatness.

What made him remarkable and unique, writes Clayton, “was that he was a politician who managed to remain untarnished by the messy compromises of power. Indeed, his image was even boosted by the manner in which he left office, stepping down voluntarily after only one term.”

Max Hastings, writing in The Daily Mail, describes Mandela as a “secular saint”. While he was undoubtedly “the most famous black man in history”, he “transcended race barriers to become an exemplar of human generosity of spirit. His towering personality made possible the peaceful transfer of power in South Africa from white minority to black majority rule.”

Hastings concedes that “more was asked of him [Mandela], and sometimes claimed for him, than any mortal man could deliver”. But ultimately, “the world has been a fractionally better place, because Nelson Mandela lived in it.”

The BBC’s Africa correspondent Andrew Harding says South Africa’s long, painful transition from apartheid to democracy was not the work of one man, a fact Mandela readily conceded. But the country’s first black president “embodied that journey – in his steely, charming, regal, ruthless, disarming way – and with his death this country seems abruptly cut adrift from its heroic, agonising, brutal, miraculous past – and the long walk to freedom that Mr Mandela lived and personified.”

In an obituary written for The Guardian, David Beresford says the sense of “collective bereavement” that accompanies Mandela’s death can only be matched by that which followed the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963.

But Kennedy’s death “registered less resonantly in the days before the global village,” writes Beresford. “And, in any case, the trajectory of the American politician's life represented promise shattered rather than hope fulfilled.”

Writing in The Sun, Jon Snow recalls interviewing Mandela in 1990. The veteran journalist said he was so overcome to finally meet the “tall, grey, beaming, energised” politician that he shed tears.

“Somehow prison had purged him of pride. He was fascinated by everyone he met,” writes Snow. He kept asking me questions. At one point in that first interview I had to say to him: “Mr Mandela, it is I who have to ask you the questions, not the other way around.”

Because Mandela “missed the birth of the media age, he had never adopted a politician’s way of not answering questions,” writes Snow. “In truth he never ever struck me as a politician, but as an exceptional human being.”

The Times' correspondent balances the eulogies with a summary of Mandela's short-comings: “After leaving office, his blind loyalty to the ANC caused him to take far too long before taking against his successor Thabo Mbeki’s lunatic HIV/Aids denialism, which it is estimated at one stage was costing the lives of 800 people a day. On Zimbabwe, he said far too little, too late. 

But, he concludes,  “long ago the people of South Africa forgave these failings, knowing that they paled into insignificance when compared with his greatness. In the words of Archbishop Tutu: ‘He was truly one of the greatest human beings to walk this Earth.’”

Nelson Mandela: South Africa sings farewell to ‘a great icon’

6 December 

CROWDS of South Africans have been dancing and singing outside Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg, in tribute to their late former leader.

President Jacob Zuma announced the 95-year-old’s death in a late night television address, saying that the nation had lost “its greatest son” and “our people have lost a father”.

Calling for South Africa’s flags to be flown at half mast, he reminded his people of Mandela’s part in transforming the country from an apartheid state into a democratic nation.

As soon as the news broke, small crowds also began to gather in Soweto's Vilakazi Street, where Mandela lived in the 1940s and 1950s.

Some wore African National Congress shirts, says South Africa's Daily Sun newspaper, others were still in their pyjamas. People blew vuvuzelas, while others held candles, roses and photographs of Mandela at different ages. One mourner described Mandela as “a wise man” and “a great icon who was going to be dearly missed by the world”.

His death has brought unity amongst South Africans as black and white speak of their love for him, says Pumza Fihlani, a BBC News correspondent in Johannesburg. “Many here will be drawing on that same spirit for strength, that ‘Madiba magic’ over the next few days and weeks.”

At a service in Cape Town today, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu told mourners: “God was so good to us in South Africa by giving us Nelson Mandela to be our president at a crucial moment in our history.”

A service of national mourning is expected to be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Monday.

"In truth, we've said goodbye to Nelson Mandela many times before," says South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper today. He stepped down as president in 1999, stepped out of the public spotlight in 2004 and then there were a "handful of premature goodbyes" with news of his deteriorating health.

“Our farewell to Nelson Mandela must not be final,” it concludes. “We must refuse to say goodbye to his example, his ideals, and the dream we share with him.” 

Nelson Mandela dies aged 95

5 November 

NELSON MANDELA, South Africa's first democratically elected president, has died at the age of 95.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son," Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, said in a televised address.

"Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."

His death marks the end of the era in which apartheid was laid to rest.

"Born into a country where blacks were treated like second-class citizens," The Times reports, "Mr Mandela dedicated his life to equality, becoming the country’s first democratically elected president in 1994.

The BBC reported that a large gathering of Mandela's family had earlier been seen outside his home in Johannesburg, where he had been receiving medical care. "A number of government vehicles were there during the evening as well," the BBC said.

Millions of people, in South Africa and around the world, are expected to come out into the streets to pay their respects.

"Many South Africans, who love Mr Mandela like a father, said their grief was tinged with uncertainty over what their future holds without him," The Times reports.

Mandela will receive a state funeral, which David Cameron, Barack Obama and every other living American president are expected to attend. 

Nelson Mandela on 'deathbed' says his daughter Makaziwe

4 December

NELSON MANDELA is putting up a courageous fight from his "deathbed" the former president's daughter Makaziwe Mandela says.

Makaziwe told the South African Broadcasting Corporation: "Tata [Mandela’s nickname] is still with us, strong, courageous. Even for a lack of a better word ... on his ‘deathbed’ he is teaching us lessons; lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance."

She added: "Every moment I get with him I'm amazed. There are times where I have to pinch myself that I come from this man who is a fighter even though you can see he is struggling, but fighting spirit is still there with him."

The 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon is being cared for at his home by 22 medical staff, the Daily Mail reports. He was discharged from hospital in Pretoria in June and his condition has been described as "critical but stable" since then.

His grandson, Ndaba Mandela, told SABC: "He is still with us although he is not doing well in bed."

Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told South Africa's The Sunday Times that he remains "quite ill" and is unable to speak because of tubes being used to clear his lungs of liquid. Madikizela-Mandela says her former husband is using facial expressions to communicate.

She added that although the pneumonia that caused him to be admitted to hospital earlier this year has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive. "He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile," she said. "The bedroom there is like an ICU (intensive care unit) ward."

Nelson Mandela 'still critical' as he returns home from hospital

2 September

AFTER almost three months in hospital, Nelson Mandela has spent his first night at home – but the South African government has warned his condition remains "critical".

The former president, who was admitted to hospital in early June for a recurring lung infection, was taken to his home in Johannesburg by ambulance on Sunday morning. His lung condition is said to result from the tuberculosis he contracted during the 27 years he spent in prison for rebelling against white minority rule.

South Africans were pleased to hear that Mandela was well enough to make the 34-mile journey home, while his family members have spoken of their happiness. "It is a day of celebration for us, that he is finally back home with us," said his grandson, Mandla Mandela.

But the South African presidency has warned that Mandela's condition remains "critical and at times unstable" and said that he will be readmitted to hospital if necessary.

A statement from the office of President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela's team of doctors were convinced he "will receive the same level of intensive care" at home as he received in hospital. A new intensive care unit has been specially constructed for him in his house.

Andrew Harding, Africa correspondent for the BBC, says: "The impetus to bring him back to Johannesburg has almost certainly come from Mr Mandela's close relatives, who - like many families in a similar situation - would prefer to care for him in the comfort and privacy of a home."

The government has been at pains to dispel suggestions Mandela is making a recovery, says Jonathan Clayton, Johannesburg correspondent for The Times, "raising fears that he was being allowed home to die".

Meanwhile, former US president George W Bush Senior had to apologise yesterday after prematurely announcing Mandela's death. He released a tribute, describing Mandela as a "man of tremendous moral courage", after misreading a Washington Post news flash. 

Nelson Mandela still clings to life after two months in hospital

8 August

TWO MONTHS after he was admitted to hospital with a lung infection Nelson Mandela remains in a "critical but stable condition" in Pretoria, according to the South African government.

The update came on Wednesday as church leaders led prayers in front of the hospital where he is receiving treatment, reports Al Jazeera.

The 95-year-old former South African president was rushed into care on 8 June, amid fears that he was on verge of death. But two months later he is still clinging to life and, according to some bulletins, on the road to recovery.

"His health has become a concern for South Africa's 53 million people, for whom Mandela remains a potent symbol of the struggle against decades of white-minority rule," says Al Jazeera. But it adds: "South Africa's government has been secretive about Mandela's health, issuing infrequent and vague statements and declining to comment on the specifics of his condition."

The latest bulletin came via his wife Graca Machel, who told church leaders that the Nobel Peace Prize winner was responsive.

Mandela's former wife Winnie has also denied reports that he is in a permanent vegetative state. In a Sky News interview marking his two months in hospital she said such rumours were "cruel", as were reports of his death.

"All around us we see people erecting scaffolding, preparing for a funeral. He has been pre-deceased," she said. "Do people not think of our emotions?"

She said it was "very hard" to see him so frail but added that although he was still critically ill, his eyes "lit up" when his children entered the room.

"That is how he communicates with them," she said.

Earlier this week officials in Johannesburg apologised to Mr Mandela and his family after he was sent a letter warning that water and electricity supplies to his home would be cut off over an unpaid bill. The BBC reported that the reminder had been sent to the wrong address.

Nelson Mandela's grandson lashes 'destructive' family 

Nelson Mandela is 'improving' says Jacob Zuma 30/07/13

NELSON MANDELA "continues to show improvement", the South African presidency has said, as the 95-year-old former president remains in hospital with a recurring lung infection.

The 'father of the nation' has been in a critical if stable condition since entering the hospital on 8 June, the BBC reports. Now, in a statement on his predecessor's health, president Jacob Zuma said Mandela's condition was improving though he asked people to continue to pray for him.

US broadcaster CBS has reported that he recently underwent a minor operation to unblock a dialysis tube - but the South African government refused to comment, says the Reuters news agency.

Zuma used the statement to seek financial support from the business world for a new children's hospital which Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund wants to build. He said: "Madiba loves children and wants the best for them. He wants us to ensure that they have a better future.

"The hospital will be one of the most inspiring legacies of this remarkable statesman and leader of our people, and we humbly invite all sectors to actively support this project."

Mandela's lung infection is just one of many he has suffered since his 27 years in prison, when he contracted tuberculosis.

Some family members claimed at the end of June that Mandela was in a permanent vegetative state. But on 18 July, the eve of his 95th birthday, daughter Zindzi said she had seen her father sitting up.

Nelson Mandela's grandson lashes 'destructive' family 04/07/2013

MANDLA MANDELA, the grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela, has lashed out at his family for creating "division and destruction".

South Africa has been gripped and increasingly appalled by the bitter feud that has broken out in the apartheid-era icon's family over Mandla's decision to exhume the bodies of three of his grandfather's children. Now charged with grave-tampering and increasingly cast as the 'villain', Mandla claimed today that his family had ganged up on him because he refused to steal his 94-year-old grandfather's money, The Times reports.

Mandla, who had the bodies exhumed in 2011 and reburied at his homestead in the Eastern Cape village of Mvezo, claimed today he had only brought them to his village "temporarily". He said the decision of 16 family members to ask a court to order him to return them to Qunu, also on the Eastern Cape, was linked to a battle for control of Nelson Mandela's financial assets.

The court found in favour of the family and the bodies were re-exhumed last night ahead of reburial in Qunu. Mandla said the court's decision was "flawed", but said he would not be challenging it.

Mandla said his family were out for revenge because he had refused to support their legal action to remove three of Mandela's aides from companies the former president had set up. He was referring to a lawsuit launched in April by two of Mandela's daughters, Makaziwe and Zenani, claiming that the aides, including respected human rights lawyer George Bizos, should not be on the boards of two companies worth about $1.7m, the BBC reports.

Mandla also took aim at Mandela's former wife Winnie, who has been visiting the statesman regularly in hospital. She "has no business in the matters of the Mandelas", Mandla said. He added that his ailing grandfather would be "highly disappointed" if he was aware that his family was at war over his legacy.

Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition in a Pretoria hospital.

NELSON MANDELA’S spirit is being “disturbed” by the messy saga involving three of his children whose bodies have twice been exhumed and moved to new graves.

Their remains were dug up yesterday and taken to a funeral parlour after a South African court sided with 16 members of the Mandela clan who argued they should not have been removed from their original resting place in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu. The bodies were moved in 2011 to a homestead in Mvezo – about 22km away – on the orders of Mandela’s grandson Mandla (above).

It has been reported that Mandla – often described as Mandela’s ‘heir’ – had the bodies exhumed without informing other family members or seeking their consent. Some claim he moved the bodies because Mandela has made it clear he wants to be buried next to his children, and wherever the former president is laid to rest will become a lucrative shrine.

Court papers filed in relation to the case shone a light on Mandela’s fragile health. They reveal that his breathing has been assisted by a life-support machine and his health is “perilous”, South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper reports.

The BBC says the exhumed bodies are now at a funeral parlour in the Eastern Cape village of Mthatha. They will be subjected to “forensic tests” because Mandla has been charged with grave-tampering.

The Washington Post says many South Africans are appalled at the “messy family feud” that has erupted over the exhumation of the bodies. The fact that the dispute — over “legacy, money and traditions” — is unfolding as the patriarch lies critically ill, unable to intervene, is particularly distressing.

The squabble is “playing out in newspapers, on the Internet and on TV, angering a nation gripped by grief and praying for its beloved 94-year-old former president”, the paper says.

Nelson Mandela news: judge orders grandson to return bodies


A COURT has ordered Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla to re-exhume the bodies of three of his relatives and return them to their original graves.

Mandla is said to have moved the bodies of three of the former South African president’s children – including Makgatho, Mandla’s father – from the village of Qunu to Mvezo, about 12 miles away. Mandla, Mandela’s official heir, is adamant the ex-president and his children should be buried in Mvezo, his birthplace. But it is claimed he did not consult other family members about the exhumations.

 It has been suggested that Mandla wants his grandfather to be laid to rest in Mvezo because the grave site would become a lucrative shrine that would attract people from around the world.

 Mandla’s exhumation of the bodies was challenged in court by 16 members of the statesman’s family led by his eldest daughter, Makaziwe. As a result, Mandla has been ordered to return the remains to Qunu this afternoon, the BBC reports.

Makaziwe refused to comment on the decision, telling journalists: “This is a private family matter.” 

Mandela, 94, remains in a “critical but stable” condition in a Pretoria hospital. The former president has made it clear he wants to be buried in Qunu, the village where he grew up and lived in retirement. Mandela's parents, his mother, Nosekeni, and father, Mphakanyiswa, are also buried in the family gravesite in Qunu.

Last week the Mandela family was granted an interim order for the bodies to be re-exhumed from Mvezo to Qunu, but Mandla challenged it.

 South African police say grave-tampering complaints were made against Mandla at a police station in the Eastern Cape yesterday. A police spokesperson said a public prosecutor will decide whether to press charges.

Nelson Mandela news: scandal as ex-wife blasts ANC photo-op 


NELSON MANDELA'S poor health has triggered another controversy in his homeland, this time over a politically-motivated photo-op featuring the ailing former president and South Africa's current leader Jacob Zuma.

Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Mandela – a controversial figure who was convicted in 1991 of kidnapping a 14-year-old activist who was killed by her private vigilantes – has hit out at the staging of the photo-op which took place in April. Winnie told ITV she was furious that Zuma had appeared on TV with the "uncomfortable and frail" former president in what has been interpreted as an attempt to boost the popularity of both the president and the ruling ANC party.

"I honestly cannot put in words how hurt the family was. It was one of the most insensitive things for anyone to have done," Winnie Mandela told ITV. "It was insensitive, it compromised the family, compromised his dignity and it should have never been done."

Zuma said at the time of the photo-op that 94-year-old Mandela was "up and about". But his upbeat description was "clearly at odds" with TV pictures that showed the apartheid-era icon looking "dazed and sitting frozen" in an armchair, says South Africa's Sunday Times.

Since Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital with a lung infection, his family have argued over where the ex-president should be buried. On Friday, his daughter Makaziwe branded the press coverage of Mandela and his family overly intrusive and "racist".

Writing on his blog, Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow says the controversial photo-op has highlights wider concerns about the future of the ANC, the party that Mandela joined in 1943. There are fears that corruption and the lack of renewal in the ANC is holding South Africa back, says Snow.

"Some talk to me openly of Mandela's presence... protecting the ANC leadership from this growing sense of disillusion," he writes. "The photo op affair – which has taken some time to ferment, caps the sense that the ANC is using Mandela's closing time amongst them for electoral advantage."

Meanwhile, Mandela is understood to be off "life-support" and breathing with the aid of an oxygen mask, according to reports.

Mandela critically ill 


SOUTH AFRICAN President Jacob Zuma has cancelled a trip to Mozambique scheduled for today after visiting former leader Nelson Mandela in hospital on Wednesday evening. The 94-year-old remains critically ill in a Pretoria hospital and, according to The Times "is being kept alive on a life-support machine".

Zuma visited the hospital on the advice of Lieutenant-general Vi Ramlakan, South Africa's surgeon-General, and the presidential office later released a statement saying Zuma "reiterated his gratitude on behalf of government, to all South Africans who continue to support the Madiba family".

Zuma had been due in Mozambique to attend a summit on infrastructure investment but his decision to remain in South Africa is ominous. BBC correspondent Mike Wooldridge says it "further underlines the gravity of Nelson Mandela's condition". Mandela's spokesman Mac Maharaj confirmed that the apartheid-era icon's condition had deteriorated "in the past 48 hours".

The Times says that Mandela is now "barely responsive and too weak to speak" three weeks after being admitted to hospital on 8 June with a recurring lung infection. The feeling in South Africa is that the end is fast approaching. On Tuesday a priest prayed for Mandela's "peaceful end", while police have barricaded the street leading to the hospital's main entrance because of crowd numbers.

Throughout the last few days people have gathered to leave balloons, cuddly toys and messages of support for South Africa's first black president. One well-wisher, Kuda Nyahumzvi, told CNN: "He is our hero. He is my mentor, my father. He is everything to me. But when it is his time, we wish his soul could just rest. He spent so long in jail and struggling."

Meanwhile the South African Press Association [SAPA] says that funeral arrangements were not discussed during a Mandela family meeting at Qunu on Tuesday. Quoting a family friend, the SAPA says that as a former head of state, Mandela's funeral will be organised by the government.

South Africa 'increasingly resigned' to Mandela's death 24/06/2013

HOPE appears to be slipping away for former South African leader Nelson Mandela, who is in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital.

  • Coline Covington: Why the world will weep for Mandela

President Jacob Zuma, who visited the 94-year-old yesterday, told a press conference this morning that doctors were doing all they could to make him comfortable, but urged the nation – and the world – to pray for the man known in his homeland as 'Madiba'.

Zuma confirmed that Mandela's health had deteriorated over the weekend and said the apartheid-era icon was asleep when he visited him yesterday. "(We) saw him and then we had a bit of discussion with the doctors and his wife Graca Machel," Zuma said.

Mandela has been in hospital for most of June since being admitted with a lung infection. Zuma urged South Africans to be realistic about the former president's health saying: "All of us in the country should accept that Madiba is old." He was reluctant to speculate further on Mandela's health, saying "I am not a doctor".

Meanwhile, the White House has confirmed that Mandela's declining health will not affect a planned visit to South Africa by President Obama. The president sets off on Wednesday for a tour of Africa that will take him to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

A meeting between the first black presidents of both South Africa and the United States has been "hotly anticipated for years", says AFP. But there is now a chance it will not go ahead, with the White House saying it will defer to Mandela's family regarding any meeting.

Reuters says South Africa's 53 million citizens are increasingly resigned to Mandela's death. His latest hospitalisation - his fourth in six months - has "reinforced a realisation that the father of the post-apartheid 'Rainbow Nation' will not be around for ever".

Johannesburg nurse Petunia Mafuyeka said: "If it's his time to go, he can go. I wish God can look after him. We will miss him very much. He fought for us to give us freedom. We will remember him every day. When he goes I will cry."

At 93 years, Mandela goes back to his home village 


Just a week after Nelson Mandela celebrated his 93rd birthday, his family have announced that he has left his Johannesburg home and plans to live out the rest of his life in his country retreat in Qunu, near the Eastern Cape village where he grew up.

The former South African president and world statesman flew from Jo'burg to Qunu to celebrate his birthday quietly with his family, forcing president Jacob Zuma to announce that the decision did not imply that his frail predecessor's health was failing. Now Mandela's family have confirmed that he has asked to stay in Qunu indefinitely. His granddaughter Ndileka said: "He enjoys seeing cattle in the village and the kraal that is not far from his house. This gives him peace and comfort." She added: "As long as he is in a healthy state while there, we are happy." Ndileka said Mandela did not speak much on his birthday - now known to the rest of the world as Mandela Day - but enjoyed being surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Pictures were released to the press showing Mandela with his family and a birthday cake, looking thin and solemn, but alert. Meanwhile, South Africa and the world celebrated Mandela Day, which the UN recognises as a global call to volunteer work. People are asked to give up 67 minutes to voluntary work that day - one minute for each of Mandela's politically active years. David Cameron also chose Mandela Day for the start of his trade visit to Africa, before cutting it short because of the phone hacking scandal. It is still not clear whether Cameron had been hoping for a meeting with Mandela. The Guardian reported last week that "plans were said to be afoot" for him to pay a visit, but it never materialised.

The two men have met before. In 2006 Cameron made a firm break with the Conservatives' embarrassing conduct over apartheid in the 1980s when he told Mandela that Margaret Thatcher had been wrong to resist sanctions against South Africa. But Cameron has a more personal reason to want to be seen in public with the great man: his own embarrassing trip to South Africa as a guest of anti-sanctions lobbyists made in 1989 when the future president was still locked in a prison cell.

Sigh of relief as Mandela goes home from hospital 28/01/2011

South Africans breathed a collective sigh of relief today when their iconic former president Nelson Mandela, last seen in public at the closing ceremony of the World Cup in July 2010, was discharged after two nights in hospital.

Reporters had been camped outside the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where Mandela was being treated for acute respiratory infection, and there was speculation overnight that the 92-year-old was close to death.

Spokesman after spokesman for the government had tried to calm the nation. He is "alive and kicking", Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told South African television on Thursday night, while an ANC spokesman said the fact that he had been hospitalised "should not suggest the worst".

Then it was announced this morning that President Zuma had unexpectedly left the World Ecocomic Forum in Davos.

Most worrying to Mandela's supporters was the fact that neither his family nor the Nelson Mandela Foundation had said anything by this morning and that when his estranged wife, Winnie, visited the hospital yesterday, she was seen leaving in tears.

Before leaving Davos, President Zuma had appealed for "calm and restraint". Reading between the lines, however, he was clearly readying South Africans for the inevitable.

Zuma said: "We urge the media to afford him the dignity and respect that he is entitled to as the country's founding democratic president, as a national hero and also as a citizen of the republic."

Desmond Tutu, asked by a reporter in Bloemfontein what more his country wanted from Mandela, responded: "We want him to remain forever but, you know... anything can happen."

This afternoon, however, Mandela was back home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton where he is subject to "intense monitoring" according to South Africa's surgeon general, VJ Ramlakan.

The fact that Mandela has lived so long despite spending 27 years in jail at the hands of the white minority regime is remarkable.

But, when the time comes, it will not make his passing any less painful for black South Africans who owe him their freedom from apartheid, and for a generation across the globe who protested year in year out at the evil of their oppressors.

Few can forget the sight of Nelson Mandela emerging from the Victor Verster prison on February 11, 1990, punching the air with his fist, and giving the world its first sight of that radiant smile, so free of bitterness.

Mandela rains on Blair’s Liberty Medal parade 14/09/2010

Neatly timed to coincide with the publication of his memoir A Journey, already climbing the New York Times bestsellers list, Tony Blair was awarded the Liberty Medal by former President Bill Clinton at a ceremony in Philadelphia yesterday.

The medal is designed to honour people who have worked towards promoting freedom and it was made clear that Blair was receiving it for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process, not his part in taking Britain to war in Iraq.

Hence the absence of protesters throwing eggs and shoes which greeted his last public appearance, at a book signing in Dublin.

"To be free, is to be responsible for the freedom of others," said Blair in a brief acceptance speech.

The medal comes with a cash prize of £65,000 which might once have been useful - it's more than half what the PM's salary was when Blair entered Downing Street in 1997 - but can now go into the kitty for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Coincidentally, Blair picked up his award within hours of the revelation that Nelson Mandela, a previous winner of the Liberty Medal, was "furious" at the former PM for taking Britain into the Iraq war in 2003.

The former apartheid campaigner and Labour Cabinet minister Peter Hain tells in a new biography of Mandela how the great man phoned him from Johannesburg in a foul mood.

"He was virtually breathing fire down the phone on this and feeling a sense of betrayal," said Hain. "It was quite striking."

Hain told how Mandela said: "A big mistake, Peter, a very big mistake. It is wrong. Why is Tony doing this after all his support for Africa? This will cause huge damage internationally."

 Mandela aide resigns in Naomi Campbell fallout 19/08/2010

The fallout from Naomi Campbell's testimony at the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor has resulted in Jeremy Ractliffe, one of former President Mandela's long-serving aides, resigning from the board of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF).

Much of Campbell's testimony at The Hague earlier this month was refuted by two key witnesses, her former agent Carole White and the actress Mia Farrow.

But one thing there was no disagreement about was the supermodel's account of what happened next to the bag of uncut diamonds - or "dirty-looking stones", as she famously described them - presented to her following the 1997 gala dinner in South Africa at which she sat next to Taylor, then President of Liberia.

According to Campbell, she handed the diamonds - the very next day - to Jeremy Ractliffe so that they might benefit the Mandela children's fund, which Ratcliffe then ran.

The first reaction of the NMCF to Campbell's testimony at The Hague on August 5 was that they knew nothing about any diamonds. Hours later, Ractliffe, no longer the head of the charity but still a board member, issued a statement admitting that he had received the gems from Campbell but had not passed them on to the charity.

Not wishing to incriminate the charity or embarrass Mandela, he simply held on the uncut diamonds and, indeed, they were still in a safe at his home, 13 years later. Crucially, he had never told the police he was holding them.

Because the possession of uncut diamonds is illegal in South Africa, leaving him open to prosecution, Ractliffe, now 74, had little option but to resign from the charity's board.

He says he wishes now that he had told the other board members and Nelson Mandela himself about Campbell's "donation" so that they might have dealt with the gems in a "better and lawful" way.

A statement released by the Fund yesterday read: "Mr Ractliffe has apologised to the Chairperson, Chief Executive Officer, the board and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) for the anxiety and possible reputational risk his conduct may have caused.

"For these reasons, he considers it correct and proper for him not to make himself available for re-election as a trustee at the forthcoming annual general meeting of NMCF on 27 August. Mr Ractliffe has also undertaken to resign as a board member of the USA affiliate of the NMCF with immediate effect."

While there has clearly been anger at the Fund that Ractliffe kept the donation of the diamonds secret - even if it was done in good faith - there is also sympathy for him in some quarters because he was clearly put in an awkward position by the supermodel.

He made it clear to Campbell when she first showed him the uncut diamonds that they were of no use to the Fund because they were illegal. But he feared what would happen to Campbell if she was discovered by the authorities to have the gems in her possession. "In the end I decided I should just keep them," he said in his statement of August 5.

Campbell has yet to comment on Ractliffe's resignation.

Great granddaughter of Mandela dies after concert 


The family of Nelson Mandela has been struck by tragedy following last night's World Cup opening concertZenani Mandela, one of the former president's nine great-grandchildren, was killed in a car accident on her way home from the star-studded event at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

As a result, former President Mandela, who is widely credited with winning the World Cup bid for South Africa back in 2004, will not now attend this afternoon's opening match between South Africa and Mexico.

Zenani died a day after her 13th birthday. According to police, the driver was drunk and lost control of the car on a motorway slip road in Johannesburg. The car hit a barricade and overturned.

Earlier reports claimed that Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Mandela, now Winnie Madikizela, was also in the car. But a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation has since explained that she went to the hospital where Zenani was taken after being informed of the accident. She was treated for shock and released.

Zenani's iconic great-grandfather had been too frail to attend the concert, but the crowd roared their approval when Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who introduced a film tribute to the anti-apartheid campaigner, asked them to cheer so loud Mandela would hear them at home in Johannesburg.

Tutu, dressed in a yellow-and-green football shirt and matching bobble hat, gave an appropriately Tutu-esque barnstorming performance to get the World Cup underway. "I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming. It's so beautiful - wake me up!" he said. "We want to say to the world: 'Thank you for helping this ugly, ugly worm, or caterpillar which we were, to become a beautiful, beautiful butterfly'."

To the football fans attending from around the world, he said: "We welcome you all. For Africa is the cradle of humanity, so we welcome you home."

The concert featured Shakira, the Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys as well as many home-grown acts, including the legendary trumpeter Hugh Mesekela.

Shakira, wearing a cut-away animal print under what looked like a grass skirt, performed the waka waka - official anthem and dance of the World Cup.

Mandela Foundation claims foreword is a fake 


An embarrassing row has broken out in South Africa between the governing ANC and its one-time leader Nelson Mandela. The former president claimed that the foreword to a biography of Congo-Brazzaville's leader Denis Sassou-Nguesso had been falsely attributed to him. However the South African government is saying that the words were indeed spoken by Mandela and that he is "causing embarrassment to the country".

The tribute in question, a foreword to Straight Speaking for Africa, reads: "In President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, I recognise a man who is not only one of our great African leaders... but also one of those who gave their unconditional support to our fighters' demand for freedom, and who worked tirelessly to free oppressed peoples from their chains and help restore their dignity and hope."

But the Nelson Mandela Foundation strongly denied on Tuesday that the living legend had ever made this statement. "This is a false claim," said Verne Harris, the foundation's acting chief executive. "Mr Mandela has neither read the book nor written a foreword for it. We condemn this brazen abuse of Mr Mandela's name. We will be taking appropriate action."

It does seem unlikely that Mandela would lavish praise on Sassou-Nguesso, as the 66-year-old doesn't have quite the untarnished reputation that the foreword boasts. Sassou-Nguesso took power in a coup 30 years ago, was ejected in the country's first free elections in 1992, then led an armed struggle until he returned to the presidency 10 years later.

However Welsh Makanda, the South African ambassador to - curiously enough - Congo-Brazzaville, claims that the words had indeed come from Mandela. "I have seen the book and the quote myself and I can tell you, the quote is true. There is no distortion of the quotation. It has historical facts that cannot be disputed," Makanda told the South Africa Times.

"I don't know where exactly it was taken from, but it is historically true. It has historical facts because it was allegedly taken from one of Mandela's speeches years ago."

Some observers see this as another example of the ANC under Jacob Zuma as using the former leader as a figurehead under which to achieve their own aims. As The First Post reported in February, Zuma was accused of kidnapping his predecessor to help his presidential campaign.

Mandela grandson ‘sold funeral rights’ 


Nelson Mandela's "favourite" grandson has denied reports that he has tried to cash in on the death and funeral of the former South African President.

Mandla Mandela (pictured above with his grandfather), an African National Congress (ANC) MP, is alleged to have sold the rights for the ceremony to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for three million rand (£228,620). Johannesburg's Sunday World newspaper quoted an anonymous family source, who claimed the 34-year-old had agreed the arrangement without quoting any other members of the family. His relatives "are all shocked and disgusted".

The Sunday World said that the SABC, which is in dire financial trouble with debts of around £76m, hoped to make huge profits from Mandela's funeral by selling on the rights to international broadcasting stations.

Funeral plans for Nelson Mandela, who is 91 next month and looks increasingly frail, are not officially discussed. But it is an open secret that a planning committee has been set up to oversee what will be the biggest funeral in South Africa's history. Last month a former SABC executive, Snuki Zikalala, confirmed that around £54 million has been set aside for 'Project M'.

International broadcasters are already jostling for positions in the Eastern Cape village where Mandela will be laid to rest, with some TV companies reported to have bought land there. The media are also quietly opening their chequebooks to Mandela family members to gain access.

Earlier this year Mandla, a former businessman who was elected to parliament in April, was accused of manipulating his grandfather into a public appearance to help his election campaign, despite Nelson Mandela being so frail he was unable to speak.

Mandla said the funeral allegations were a "blatant lie". He told the Star on Sunday: "I don't know what you are talking about. I have no deals with the SABC. It's shocking news. We will discuss it with the family."


Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex
Ryan Giggs outside Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court
In Depth

Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex

Anne Heche ‘not expected to survive’ after LA car crash
Anne Heche
Speed Reads

Anne Heche ‘not expected to survive’ after LA car crash

Mohammed bin Salman: a ruthless reformer
Mohammed bin Salman

Mohammed bin Salman: a ruthless reformer

A guide to Elon Musk’s big family
Elon Musk

A guide to Elon Musk’s big family

Popular articles

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner