South African Judge Charges Nelson Mandela's Grandson With Tampering With The Graves Of His Deceased Children

on July 02 2013 1:32 PM
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Mandla Mandela, the grandson of former South African President Nelson Mandela attends the funeral for an extended family member, Florence Mandela, in the Eastern Cape province village Qunu, June 15, 2013. Reuters / Rogan Ward

A South African judge charged Nelson Mandela's eldest grandson with grave tampering Tuesday in a case brought by 16 of the former president's family members.

The Eastern Cape High Court ordered the return of the remains of three of Mandela's deceased children after it found that 39-year old grandson Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, known as Mandla, allegedly moved the graves from Qunu to Mvezo in 2011 without the rest of the family's consent.

Mandla Mandela was ordered to return the remains by Wednesday at 3 p.m. local time.

The 16 family members, led by the former president's daughter, Makaziwe, claim they acted on behalf of wishes expressed by Nelson Mandela that he wanted to be buried with his family members in Qunu.

Mandla moved the bodies to his complex in Mvezo where he is trying to build a tourist destination. The decision angered the local relatives as well as other tribal leaders in the area.

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