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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Monday, 16 April 2007 18:15 UK

Mandela's grandson a Xhosa chief

Mandla
The chieftaincy is back with the Mandela family

The grandson of Nelson Mandela has become a traditional Xhosa leader in a ceremony witnessed by his grandfather.

Draped in a lion skin, Mandla Mandela was installed as chief of Mvezo Traditional Council.

The 32-year-old's role will be to act as a community spokesman, preside over local ceremonies and resolve disputes.

Xhosa authorities decided to resurrect the Mandela chieftaincy, which Nelson renounced to become a lawyer and fight white minority rule some 70 years ago.

But the 88-year-old, who retired as president in 1999, said it should go to his grandson.

Mandla, a 32-year-old recent political science graduate, vowed to try to help the people of the rural Eastern Cape, which is one of the nation's poorest regions, before he was installed .

"There are a lot of expectations, especially with the surname I carry," he said

The ceremony took place in Mvezo where Nelson Mandela was born. At least 10 oxen were expected to be slaughtered for visiting dignitaries.

"This is really Nelson's position but because of his advanced age it was decided that the honour would be bestowed on his successor," said Patekile Holomisa, head of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela's last surviving son, Mandla's father, died two years ago.

SEE ALSO
Profile: Nelson Mandela
01 Jun 04 |  Africa
Mandela receives Amnesty honour
01 Nov 06 |  Africa


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