The grandson of the “greatest son” of South Africa, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela has been having marriage issues. First, he’s still legally married to his first wife Tando Mabunu-Mandela, in a complicated manner. They’ve been touring the court over who gets to keep this or that asset.
He married Anais Grimaud in 2010, and got the marriage annulled two years later after accusing his younger brother of impregnating Grimaud, he then married Mbali Makhathini but the court declared the marriage null and void.
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Now, Mandla has married a Muslim Rabia Clarke, and the traditional leaders are demanding of him to explain why he secretly married Clarke and why he converted to Islam.
Report has it that the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) provincial chairperson Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane, related that Contralesa “reacted with shock on the news of his conversion.”
According to Nonkonyane, Contralesa is worried and very concerned.
“What we know is that the woman converts, not the man. That is our custom…Traditional leaders don’t marry secretly. He should have been represented by the traditional council of Mvezo. He is the leader of people of Mvezo. We are still trying to locate him to get answers,” Nonkonyane reportedly commented.
Meanwhile Contralesa provincial secretary Chief Xolile Ndevu has refuted insinuations that the congress of traditional leaders are unwilling to welcome Mandla marrying a Muslim woman.
He said – “Contralesa did not say that Mandla Mandela could not lead the people of Mvezo if he is Muslim, Chief Mandla Mandela is a chief of the Abathembu, so if the royal does not support his conversion to Muslim then it becomes their matter, there is no way we can say that so and so must step down because they belong to a specific religion…If the people of Mvezo agreed in this matter, then no one can interfere in the internal structures decision.”
Mandla is nevertheless happy with his new wife. To him, his marriage to Clarke despite them being raised in “different cultural and religious traditions…’ reflects what they have in common: ‘We are South Africans,” he intoned and added “I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Rabia’s parents, her extended family and the Muslim community, for welcoming me into their hearts.”