What was meant to be a dignified and peaceful day turned out to be full of drama as Zoleka Mandela was laid to rest.
Zoleka was not buried alongside her grandmother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the Fourways Memorial Park on Friday, as initially reported, after Zenani Mandela obtained a court interdict to stop her from being buried at the Mandela plot.
As a result, police were called to make sure that she was not buried next to her family.
Zoleka’s mother Zindziswa Mandela and her two children are also buried on the plot. Her 13-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident in 2010, and she later lost a son who was born prematurely.
A source who did not want to be identified because of fear of victimisation said Zoleka’s ex-husband, Thierry Bashala, had purchased another grave for her at the memorial park.
“There was drama here and they had already dug a grave for her next to her family, but the husband refused them to bury her there,” said the source.
“They ended up burying her where the husband had planned, and the family ended up being divided.”
Sunday World witnessed as an empty grave was being covered up, and also saw the grave where she was laid to rest, away from her beloved family.
A list that was published on social media on Friday allegedly mentioned the people that Zoleka did not want at her funeral, and Bashala was one of them.
The names in the diary entry included Leeroy Andie Cana, the father of her last born Zingce, some people from the Mandela and Madikizela family, Zenani Mandela Snr, Mandla Mandela, Zukiswa Madikizela, Nsundu Madikizela, and Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
Zoleka died on Monday after a long battle with metastatic cancer that had spread to her hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain, and spinal cord.