The ANC’s top six will only be able to visit the grave of late former president Nelson Mandela next month, according to his grandson Mandla Mandela.
The newly elected leadership of the ANC, led by party president Cyril Ramaphosa, has visited the graves of the party’s former presidents this past week, including those of Albert Luthuli, John Langalibalele Dube and Oliver Tambo.
They were also scheduled to visit the grave of the party’s most decorated icon and the first democratically elected president, Madiba.
He is buried in Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where the party will host its 106 birthday celebrations in East London’s Absa Stadium this Saturday.
But on Thursday the top leaders of the ANC could not visit Madiba’s grave which is yet to be opened to the public since he was buried on his farm in Qunu along the N2 between Mthatha and East London in 2013.
Instead the top brass met the family and held a mini-rally in Qunu.
Mandla, the eldest grandson of Madiba and also the chief of Mvezo, said the leadership would be able to visit the grave of the global icon only on February 11, where the entire family will be there to receive them.
He said there were some outstanding traditions and protocols that would have to be carried out by the family before the ANC leadership could be allowed at the grave.
“In keeping with the request of the ANC top six leadership during their visit to the Qunu homestead to visit the gravesite of President Mandela, the family has agreed to observe the protocol and traditions and therefore will go to Nkosi Dalibhunga’s [Madiba’s praise name] resting place and inform him and the ancestors of the visit of the entire ANC leadership that will take place on the 11th February 2018 which will be hosted by the family in Qunu.
“This will afford all of the family members scattered around the country to be present to receive and host the honoured guests. In accordance with tradition we shall also slaughter an ox in honour of the visit of the ANC leadership, said Mandla in a statement on Thursday.