A few months ago, when reports came out that former South African President Nelson Mandela was dying, the family's good name was tarnished when news came out that even before the freedom icon breathed his last, members of the clan were feuding where to bury him.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95 in his Johannesburg home, after a long battle with a recurring lung infection. (Reuters)
YouTube/AFP news agency
The battle for his soon-to-be corpse, however, was apparently not triggered by filial love for the patriarch, not only of the Mandela clan but of the nation, but for the financial gain of having his last remains in their village as a selling point to attract tourists.
However, as Mr Mandela moved out of deathbed, news of the family feud ceased to be reported. But with his death on Thursday night, Dec 5, interest resumed on the ongoing legal battles involving the younger Mandelas.
After his much-awaited funeral of the 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero, the family feud is expected to resume.
Last week, Mandela greatgrandson, Nelson, was scheduled to appear in court over an assault and pointing a firearm charge after a car crash and street fight. Nelson's father, Mandla - the oldest male descendant - had his own court battles top fight involving divorce, alleged bigamy and his secret digging of the graves of three of second-generation Mandelas and moved them to Mvezo where he is the village chief.
Besides the exhumation, Mandla also bulldozed the remains of his grandfather's birthplace and Mvezo and replaced it with a replica.
Meanwhile, Makaziwe, the former president's daughter, has also been criticised for launching a court battle to gain legal control of a $2.8-million trust fund in the U.S. financed by royalties from Mandela-branded artwork, although she later abandoned the initiative.
However, the patriarch's death led to a temporary ceasefire among the warring Mandelas.
The younger generation Mandelas had apparently cashed in on his name by creating a wine with the label House of Mandela, setting up a company that makes T-shirts and other fashion accessories, two granddaughter starring in a TV reality show titled Being Mandela (shades of the Khardasian sisters) and two grandsons allegedly organising a boxing bout at a Monaco casino on the occasion of their patriarch's 95th natal day.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his ex-wife - although she enjoys the stature of being South Africa's mother - has been accused of being involved in kidnapping and murder in the last years of the anti-apartheid struggle. The good thing is things appear to be okay with the two widows since both Winnie and Graca Machel, his present wife, were around when he died.
Present at his deathbed were Winnie and Graca, Makaziwe and Mandla and another grandchild, Ndileka, disclosed Bantu Holomisa, an MP and family friend.
Mr Holomisa recalled, quoted by The Australian, "I've seen people who are on their last hours and I could sense that he is now giving up ... You could see it is not Madiba anymore."
Meanwhile, the world is closely following Mr Mandela's funeral which will be star-studded with monarchs and heads of states who will pay their last tribute and respect to the freedom icon.