Nelson Mandela’s grandson has slammed recent comments from Meghan Markle, after she shared an anecdote about South Africans comparing her marriage to Mandela’s release from prison.

In an explosive interview, the Duchess of Sussex recalled a conversation from 2019 with a South African member of The Lion King production, who allegedly said to her, “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.”

Now, Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela has spoken out about her claims that are reminiscent of the 1990 release of the legendary anti-apartheid campaigner after 27 years in jail, telling the Daily Mail, “It can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding.”

He said, “Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So It cannot be equated to as the same.”

Referring to Meghan, he said, “Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela, either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him.”

“But before people can regard themselves as Nelson Mandelas, they should be looking into the work that he did and be able to be champions and advocates of the work that he himself championed.”

Zwelivelile’s grandfather served 27 years in prison before being released and re-uniting opponents and going on to lead his country.

He said when the people of South Africa expressed their joy at his grandfather’s release and danced in the streets, it was for a far more important and serious reason than her marriage “to a white prince”.

The African National Congress MP added, “We are still bearing scars of the past. But they (Mr Mandela’s celebrations) were a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time.”

“He spoke for oppressed minorities, children and women and protracting the most vulnerable people in our society.”

“He always spoke about oppressed nations around the globe and yet people are silent on those issues.”

“But this is what we like to see (from) people when they regard themselves as being a “Nelson Mandela’.”

Image credits: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.