May 23, 2011
Former resident Nelson Mandela landed at Mthatha airport with his wife Graça and his medical team at 1.30pm on Sunday.
"We are excited so see Dalibhunga at Qunu. He is like inyange eliphakathi kwekhaya [an ancestor]. Everyone is excited to see the old man," said his grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, yesterday.
Mandela was welcomed at his Qunu home by Mandla, Napilisi Mandela and other family members.
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who is Madiba's close clan nephew, arrived later and joined the family.
Mandla said his grandfather was a rural man and being in the rural areas had a great effect on his wellbeing.
"To be around the rural areas, sit on the balcony and look at his livestock makes Dalibhunga strong and happy. When he is in the big city he misses the rural life, the scenery and the livestock," he said.
This is the first time that the 92-year-old has returned to Eastern Cape since being discharged from Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital, in January.
Mandla said no strain will be placed on Madiba.
"He would like to visit every family member and travel every place close to him, but we need to understand that he is elderly. We must put his health first before anything and not strain him," he said.
It is not known whether Madiba's health will permit him to travel to Mvezo, where his grandson is the traditional leader of six villages.
Mandla described his grandfather as healthy and strong but said: "The man is really elderly."
He could not say when the struggle icon will return to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.