Lawyers representing the two warring Mandela family factions left the high court in Mthatha without either commenting or resolution on Monday (July 1) to the grave dispute that blew up last week between 15 members of Mandela's family and his grandson Mandla Mandela.

Counsel for Mandla Mandela contested the response date on the order issued on Friday (June 28) ordering him to return the remains of bodies that he is said to have taken from the Qunu Mandela grave site and moved to his home in Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape.

The order appeared to have said the respondents had until July 29 instead of June 29 to respond to the order.

Mandla's lawyer Gery Jansen said in a second opposing order they planned to put forward their argument against the order. The judge adjourned the meeting between the two sides in chambers and told them to return to court the following morning.

The family dispute has angered many chiefs and Mandela clan members who say the two sides need to resolve the issue of where the remains of Mandela's son Makgatho Mandela, his first daughter Makaziwe, and his second son Madiba Thembekile must be.

Mandla, who was seen at a special prayer meeting for his grandfather in Qunu on Sunday, is said to have angered the ancestors by removing the remains without consulting with the rest of the family, the clan members.

Traditional Xhosa and Thembu experts say disturbing your ancestors can cause rifts within the living family members as well as the spirit of the dead.

The Royal Family will hold a special mediation meeting on July 8 in an attempt to settle the matter out of court.

Presented by Adam Justice

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