Thu, 04 Jul 2013 06:30:00 GMT | By Reuters

Police, workers exhume Mandela's children

The spat over the site of the Mandela family graves has transfixed and appalled South Africa's 53 million people as they contemplate the reality that the father of the post-apartheid "Rainbow Nation" will not be with them forever

Police, workers exhume Mandela's children (© Reuters)

MVEZO:Workers armed with pick-axes and a court order broke into the compound of Nelson Mandela's grandson on Wednesday to exhume the remains of three of the anti-apartheid hero's children, a new twist in a row that has split South Africa's most famous family.

Within hours of a ruling against Mandla Mandela by the high court in Mthatha, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg, police and hearses arrived at Mandla's complex in the nearby village of Mvezo, where the three Mandela offspring are buried.

The grey palisade gates blocking the road were forced open in front of a scrum of photographers and cameramen.

The three bodies were initially laid to rest in the family cemetery in Qunu, the village where Mandela - now 94 years old and critically ill in hospital - spent most of his childhood.

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