The grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, Nkosi Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela announced his marriage to Muslim bride, Rabia Clarke on Sunday. Mandela reported reverted to Islam two months ago.
“I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Rabia’s parents, her extended family and the Muslim community, for welcoming me into their hearts,” Mandela said in a statement.
The marriage, which took place on Saturday in Cape Town, is the fourth for Mandela, whose heritage is isiXhosa and who currently serves as the traditional chief of Mveso. It’s reported that Shaykh Ebrahim Gabriels officiated the nikah, while Shaykh Riyaad Walls delivered a naseegah during the ceremony.
“Although Rabia and I were raised in different cultural and religious traditions, our coming together reflects what we have in common: We are South Africans,” he said.
According to most recent reports, Mandela is still legally married to his first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, with whom he has been embroiled in a long-standing bitter divorce battle.
Previously the City Press newspaper reported that the pair were married in 2004, in community of property and, as such, have been fighting in court over various assets.
In the past, she has laid bigamy charges against him and, yet, Mandla, has defied various legal interdicts to carry out two – and now three – marriages subsequent to that.
Mandela wed second wife Anais Grimaud in a traditional ceremony in 2010.
In 2013, Mandla accused his younger brother, Mbuso, of impregnating Grimaud. Their marriage was later annulled.
In 2014, his marriage to third wife Mbali Makhathini, whom he married in 2011, also in a traditional ceremony – was also declared null and void in court.
Pictures on Twitter appear to show Mandela and Clarke wed according to a traditional Muslim Nikah ceremony. News24