Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, has denied allegations of abuse made by his cousin, Zoleka Mandela. Mandla confirmed that he attended Zoleka’s funeral on Friday and expressed his sadness at her passing.
Zoleka Mandela, who had been battling cancer, passed away on Monday at the age of 43. Her private funeral service was held at the Bryanston Methodist Church, followed by her burial at the Fourways Memorial Park.
Mandla Mandela expressed his disappointment at the appearance of a list on social media, which named him as someone Zoleka did not want at her funeral. He stated that he was on the list of confirmed attendees and paid his last respects to his cousin.
Addressing the allegation of sexual abuse, Mandla stated, “I categorically deny the allegations levelled against me relating to any form of abuse against Zoleka Mandela. It is extremely unfortunate that my cousin sister’s last rites were mired by this unsavoury behaviour and that serious allegations of this nature could be bandied about so irresponsibly.”
Mandla expressed shock at being included on Zoleka’s list of family and friends who should not attend her funeral. He called on all family and friends to restore respect and dignity and to let Zoleka rest in peace.
The timing of the list’s appearance and the allegations of sexual abuse have raised questions about Zoleka’s decision to keep the abuse undisclosed until her passing. Mandla described this as uncharacteristic for someone as outspoken as Zoleka.
As the Mandela family mourns the loss of Zoleka Mandela, it is important to remember her as a strong and courageous woman who fought a long battle with cancer. Let us honour her memory by respecting her wishes and focusing on the positive impact she had on the lives of those around her.