|Current region||South Africa |
|Place of origin||Thembuland|
|Current head||Mandla Mandela|
|Connected families||Swazi royal family |
|Estate(s)||Mvezo Great Place|
The Mandelas are direct descendants of the AmaHala ruling dynasty of the Thembu people; as a result, their leader has traditionally had a hereditary claim to both membership of the Thembu king's privy council and the chieftaincy of the town of Mvezo that is subject to his authority.
The family was started in the 18th century, when King Ngubengcuka of the Thembus married and left a son named Mandela, the first of the direct line to bear the name. Prince Mandela was a son of a woman that belonged to the Ixhiba clan, a ritually inferior family when compared to his father's AmaHalas, and therefore his cadet branch of the dynasty was deemed to be morganatic. Due to this, in lieu of having a place in the line of succession, he and his heirs were recognized as privy councillors thereafter.
The prince's own son, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela, was later also given the title of the chief of Mvezo by his relative, the king of Thembuland, as a further marker of the family's eminence. After being lost in the Apartheid era, this chieftaincy has since been restored to the Mandelas.
During the title's abeyance, the claim to it passed to Chief Mandela's son Nelson, who would never inherit it. Following his renunciation of it in order to become active in the anti-Apartheid movement, it would later pass to his sons Thembekile and Makgatho, and following their own early deaths, to Makgatho's son Mandla. Chief Mandla Mandela would ultimately succeed to the title in 2007 following its restoration.
- President Nelson Mandela, anti-Apartheid activist, humanitarian and head of state
- Dr. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela M.P., anti-Apartheid activist and politician, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela
- Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini of eSwatini, diplomat and Swazi princess, daughter of Nelson Mandela
- Ambassador Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, diplomat, daughter of Nelson Mandela
- Chief Mandla Mandela M.P., politician and traditional aristocrat, grandson of Nelson Mandela (through Makgatho)
- Prince Cedza Dlamini, Swazi prince and humanitarian, step-grandson of Nelson Mandela (through Zenani)
- Evelyn Mase, nurse, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela
- Dr. Graça Machel D.B.E., politician and humanitarian, widow of Nelson Mandela
- Makaziwe Mandela, businesswoman, daughter of Nelson Mandela
- Makgatho Mandela, lawyer, son of Nelson Mandela
- Ndaba Mandela, humanitarian, grandson of Nelson Mandela (through Makgatho)
- Ndileka Mandela, activist, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela (through Thembekile)
- Thembekile Mandela, son of Nelson Mandela
- Zoleka Mandela, writer and activist, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela (through Zindzi)
- "Genealogy". Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Nelson Mandela Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
- Guiloineau and Rowe (2002), p. 26.
- Mandela, Nelson (1994). Long Walk to Freedom.
- Mafela, Munzhedzi James (October 2008). The revelation of African culture in Long Walk to Freedom. Indigenous Biography and Autobiography. Australian National University. ISBN 9781921536359. Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
- Guiloineau and Rowe (2002), p. 26.
- Lodge (2006), p. 1.
- Mafela (2008), pp. 102–103.
- Quinn, Andrew (16 April 2007). "Mandela's grandson becomes tribal chief, political heir". Reuters.
- Guiloineau, Jean; Rowe, Joseph (2002). Nelson Mandela: The Early Life of Rolihlahla Madiba. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. pp. 9–26. ISBN 978-1-55643-417-4.
- Lodge, Tom (2006). Mandela: A Critical Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921935-3.