Mandla Mandela's prepared speech, delivered at a media briefing on Thursday (July 4 2013).

Introduction In the past few days, I have been the subject of attacks from all sorts of individuals wanting a few minutes of fame and media attention at my expense. In the first instance I want to express my disappointment at the decision taken by the Mthatha High Court yesterday. I remain convinced that the decision of the court was erroneous as the Court granted a final order in my absence so I was effectively denied the right to be heard. I will however not challenge this further because it will serve no purpose. I called this press conference to address a few matters that have been circulating in the media at this time. Locus Standi

Many people have been parading as the Mandela family and participating in the day to day decision of the Mandela family. These individuals were part of the applicants in this matter of the remains. I will make a few examples to illustrate my point on this matter. For instance:

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Makaziwe Pumla Mandela-is the fourth child of Nelson Mandela from his first marriage to Evelyn Mase. She married Camagu Balfour and had two children: Tukwini and Dumani. She divorced and married Isaac Amuah and they have a son called Kweku. She is in actual fact Mrs Amuah and ought to be focussing on Amuah family. As my aunt, her role within Makgatho’s family is supposed to be that of a unifier and reconciler but so far she has sown division and destruction in that family.

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Tukwini Nobuhlali Mandela-is the daughter to Camagu Balfour and Makaziwe Pumla. So, she belongs to the Balfour family. She has no business in the Mandela matters

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Dorothy Adjoa Amuah-is the daughter of Isaac Amuah outside his marriage to Makaziwe Pumla Amuah. She has no business in the Mandela matters.

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Kweku Gladiel Mandela-is the son of Isaac Amuah and Makaziwe Pumla Amuah. He belongs to the Amuah family and has no business in the Mandela matters

Most of the remaining individuals in the list of applicants on this matter has no business to be discussing Mandela matters according to our customs. At the moment it seems like anyone can come and say I am a Mandela and demand to be part of decision making process of the family. Individuals have abandoned their own families and heritage and decided to jump on the Mandela wagon.

The issue at hand that has fascinated the world is not only of interest because it is about the remains of my grand-father’s children but it is curious because of the timing when it was made an issue. We repatriated these remains in 2011 after following all the customary rituals and protocols. For the past 2 years, the people on the list have never raised concerns about the repatriation of these remains. Two years later when my grand-father is gravely ill in hospital this matter is brought up as an extreme urgent matter. I am still struggling to date why the matter is urgent now when it has never been urgent in the past two years.

Nevertheless I indicated to the family that the rightful claimant i.e. the children of the deceased do have a right to repatriate the remains if now they are against them being in Mvezo. The issue of the court came as a surprise to me since the rightful claimants were aware of my position. The issue was different in as far as my own father Makgatho was concerned because I hold the right to determine where he is buried.

Chieftainship Legitimacy I am the Chief of Mvezo. This chieftaincy was expropriated from the Mandela’s in the 1920’s with my great grandfather Nkosi Mphakanyisa Mandela exiled to Qunu. Seventy years later we were offered an opportunity to assume our rightful place in the kingdom. Since my father was late and my grandfather indicated that due to his age he cannot assume the chieftainship, he asked me to take the responsibility. Though reluctant to leave my life and trek to the rural area, my grandfather reminded me that my first responsibility should be that of service to our people. I was duly installed with my grandfather and the current King present in a ceremony attended by the family, traditional leaders across the country and our political representatives.

There are individuals today who opportunistically make claims as to my legitimacy. These individuals wait for all these years to start having these questions. If I was not the rightful heir, I am sure these individuals would not have hesitated to oppose the greater family who assigned me the responsibility to lead the Royal House of Mandela.

Mvezo is a place still bedevilled by excessive poverty and unemployment. It has no sanitation and water. It has a high school dropout and high level of HIV/AIDS infections. My focus with the help of our ANC government is to deal with these challenges and to bring development to the people of Mvezo. This I will continue to do together with the people of Mvezo.

I saw in recent media coverage that the King is one of the people making adverse statement about my legitimacy and accusing me of wanting to unseat him. This is laughable to say the least. I think the King wants to make me a scapegoat from dealing with difficult dispute within the Dalindyebo Royal House. I refuse to be part of those dispute and appeal to him to leave me out.

As for my brother Ndaba who claims in media reports that I was born out of wedlock, insulting my mother in the process, I want to remind him that I do not want to hand our dirty linen as a family in public but he leaves me with no choice. He knows very well that my father impregnated a married woman and he is the result of that act. His mother Zondi Radebe was married to Mr Lucky Zachariah Mojahi. They were blessed with two children Amanda and Sydney. As for the remaining two brothers, we all know they are not my father’s children. Attempts to conduct a DNA test has been resisted. Case of the children against Madiba

The individuals on this court are coincidentally the same as those that have instituted proceedings against my grandfather. I seem to have angered people by distancing myself from the case against Advocate George Bizos, Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Bally Chuene appointed by Madiba to be in charge of Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings. I still refuse to be associated with court actions that are a clear squabble over my grandfather’s monies.

I am tired of people who want to use me for popularity and short term gains.

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