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‘Mandla’ tells court to use his real name
Published:Jun 09, 2009

I wish not to be addressed as ‘Mandla’ because it is just like a nickname ...

Madiba’s grandson gets officious in battle against cousin

NELSON Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, yesterday demanded that a Gauteng court use his “official” name and asked people in court to identify themselves before the hearing started.

Mandela has taken his unemployed second cousin to the court of the Gauteng Housing Adjudication Board to have her removed from the Orlando East, Soweto, home in which she has been living for the past 18 years.

Mandela had given Ema Ngcongoco, 49, six months to vacate the house that his grandmother, Evelyn, moved into in 1958 after her divorce from Nelson Mandela.

Mandla Mandela laid claim to the house in order to “honour his grandmother’s legacy”.

But Ngcongoco — whose grandmother, Kate Mgudlwa, was Evelyn’s sister — has refused to budge.

She shares the house with her husband and two sons.

Before the proceedings began yesterday, Mandela asked everyone present to introduce themselves.

“Who are all these people? May they kindly introduce themselves before we commence?”

Mandela then asked the court to address him as Zwelivelile Mandela.

“I am a chief and heir to the Mandela clan. I wish not to be addressed as ‘Mandla’ because it is just like a nickname and not the name my aunts know me by,” he said.

“I know the name Mandla has been used a lot in the media, but that’s not my name. My name is Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela.”

Adjudicator Linda S’khosana agreed to the requests and reprimanded Tshidi Khobane, Ngcongoco’s younger sister, who represented her in court, for repeatedly calling him “Mandla”.

The case failed to proceed yesterday because Ngcongoco did not have a lawyer, despite being warned last month to retain a lawyer.

Khobane told the court that Ngcongoco was unemployed and needed more time to retain a lawyer.

“On the last occasion, Mandla was not here and we understood that. We also need to be given an opportunity to get a legal representative,” she said.

Mandela’s lawyer, Darryl Ackerman, objected to a further postponement, saying his client was a busy man .

“Postponing the matter will be a waste of time,” Ackerman said.

Mandela also objected to a postponement, claiming time constraints.

“I am an MP, a chief and my duty is to serve the country. I can no longer miss out on my duties of serving people in the country,” he said.

Adjudicator S’khosana urged both parties not to waste each other’s time and granted a final postponement to next month.

Mandela is no stranger to controversy. He was recently accused of having sold the television rights to his 90-year-old grandfather’s funeral to the SABC for R3-million, and of dragging his grandfather into campaigning for the ANC without making adequate arrangements for his health and security.

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