JOHANNESBURG - The AbaThembu royal family on Friday dismissed reports that Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela received training as a sangoma.
"We are not aware that Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela is under training as a traditional healer," AbaThembu spokesman Daludumo Mtirara said in a statement.
"Even if there was such training, we would not be inquisitive about it because we know what it means and who aMadlomo [a clan name] are."
The Sowetan reported that Mandla had been undergoing training in Mvezo, Eastern Cape, to become a traditional healer.
The royal family welcomed the new developments, according to the newspaper.
"As far as I know, he is the first in the Mandela family but not the first in the Madiba clan to be a sangoma. There are sangomas called Madiba," AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo's right-hand man, Phandulwazi Mhlontlo, was quoted as saying.
Mtirara said the royal family respected traditional healers.
"We feel that traditional healers do not deserve any form of humiliating reports. We believe that they have a strong ancestral link.
"We advise Phandulwazi Mhlontlo and Phumlani Ngcebetshane to concentrate on their aMagcina and Matshaya affairs, respectively.
They must stay away from the cultural affairs of Dlomo."
Ngcebetshane, a Mandela relative from Qunu, said he was aware of Mandla's training as a sangoma, according to the newspaper.