A contentious legal feud is erupting within the Mandela family, triggered by the “improper” burial of cancer activist Zoleka Mandela at Fourways Memorial Park last October.
The conflict stems from her not being laid to rest alongside her grandmother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, despite the family plot being acquired following the tragic death of her 13-year-old daughter , Zenani Mandela, in 2010.
According to to City Press, efforts are now underway to exhume and rebury Zoleka’s body, setting the stage for a potential protracted legal battle.
Sources reveal that a faction led by Zondwa Mandela is vehemently pushing to rebury Zoleka next to her grandmother, with whom she shared a particularly close bond.
This move is seen as an attempt to correct what some family members consider an oversight and to honor the deep connection between Zoleka and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Zoleka’s current resting place in a different section of the cemetery has left many family members aggrieved, believing her spirit will not find peace until she is buried next to her grandmother.
The controversy surrounding Zoleka’s burial escalated during her funeral, marked by a court interdict obtained by her aunt, Zenani Mandela, preventing her from being laid to rest in the family plot.
According to sources, police enforcement of the court interdict on the day of the burial prompted relatives to accuse Zenani of preventing Zoleka from resting alongside her grandmother and daughter, with some labeling her actions as malevolent. Allegations surfaced that Zenani purportedly used the Mandela name to persuade police officers at the Douglasdale Police Station to enforce the court interdict without presenting it.
Court Action Pending: The Ongoing Saga Surrounding Zoleka Mandela’s Reburial & Exhumation
In response to the unfolding situation, Zondwa is reportedly preparing to file legal papers at the Johannesburg High Court to facilitate Zoleka’s reburial in the Mandela family plot. A source emphasized that the majority of the Mandela family supports legal efforts to rectify the situation.