JOHANNESBURG – The Traditional Healers Organisation (THO) has called for Mandla Mandela to step down as the traditional leader of Mvezo, saying his conversion to Islam is a “disgrace”.
This follows his wedding to a Muslim, Rabia Clarke, in Cape Town last Saturday.
“THO demands that the grandson of Utata Nelson Mandela avails himself to traditional healers to clarify his current position – whether he is still both a traditional healer and leader or he has relinquished all things customary to concentrate on being just a politician and a commoner,” the organisation said in a statement.
The Mvezo chief converted to Islam last year, sparking speculation about his future in the position.
“THO views Mandela’s move as a disgrace to ancestors and the traditional community at large. Mandela has betrayed his identity and culture and that of his clan and his community,” the organisation said.
“As much as we affirm the right of individuals to the religion of their choice as enshrined in the Constitution, Nkosi Zwelivelile is no ordinary man. He was introduced to us as a traditional healer and leader and we welcomed him into our homes and hearts in that capacity,” said THO national coordinator Phephsile Maseko.
He said it was not for the first time that Mandela’s actions demonstrated a soul not at peace with ancestors.
The organisation said it has requested a meeting with Mandela.
“We urge Mandela to humble himself, lend us his ears because our aim is not to judge but counsel and resolve painful issues we read about him in the media,” Maseko said.
The Congress of Traditional Leaders has said there is no need for Mandela to step down.