Workers armed with pick-axes and a court order broke into the compound of Nelson Mandela's grandson on Wednesday to exhume the remains of three of the anti-apartheid hero's children, a new twist in a row that has split South Africa's most famous family.
Within hours of a ruling against Mandla Mandela by the high court in Mthatha, police and hearses arrived at Mandla's complex in the nearby village of Mvezo, where the three Mandela offspring are buried.
The grey palisade gates blocking the road were forced open in front of a scrum of photographers and cameramen.
The three bodies were initially laid to rest in the family cemetery in Qunu, the village where Mandela - now 94 years old and critically ill in hospital - spent most of his childhood.
Two years ago the were moved by Mandla to Mvezo, where he serves as the official head of the clan.
In a court affidavit filed against Mandla last week, Mandela's eldest daughter, Makaziwe, argued for an urgent hearing, saying her father was in a "perilous" condition and breathing with the aid of life-support, local media said.
"The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and...