Graca in traditional mourning

Abongile Mgaqelwa

NELSON Mandela’s wife of 12 years, Graca Machel, is practising the traditional Xhosa custom of ukuzila in mourning for her husband.

Mandela family friends said Machel was following traditional customs by wearing black clothes from head to toe, as well as a cape and a doek on her head.

Machel, who seldom left Madiba’s bedside in the last six months of his life, has barely been seen in the wake of his death.

Those who have seen her confirmed she was wearing black mourning clothes and sitting on a mattress, a blanket over her legs.

“She is mourning like any respectable African woman and sitting on the mattress with other elderly women and speaks softly,” said a source.


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