Mandela's Relatives Argue Over Burial Plans

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JOHANNESBURG -- Nelson Mandela remained in "critical but stable" condition in a Pretoria hospital on Monday, more three weeks after being admitted for a serious lung infection tracing back to his years in apartheid prisons, the South African president's office said.

Without offering a prognosis, the statement also looked ahead to Mr. Mandela's 95th birthday this month.

"We remind all South Africans to begin planning for Madiba's birthday on the 18th of July," the statement said, referring to Mr. Mandela by his clan name. "We must all be able to do something good for humanity on this day, in tribute to our former president," said President Jacob Zuma.

At the same time, Mr. Mandela's relatives continued to squabble over where he would be buried.

Mandla Mandela, Mr. Mandela's grandson and successor as head of the Mvezo Traditional Council in Eastern Cape Province, had moved the bodies of several family members from the small village of Qunu, where Mr. Mandela was raised, to Mvezo, another small village where he was born, insisting that was where the anti-apartheid leader should be buried.

But other family members, including Mr. Mandela's daughters, were angry that the bodies were moved without their permission. They insisted that they be returned to Qunu and that the burial take place there, saying that is what Mr. Mandela often said he wished.

On Friday, a judge in Eastern Cape ordered the bodies returned to Qunu, but Mandla Mandela decided to fight that order. A hearing adjourned late Monday and will resume Tuesday morning.

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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