Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Winnie challenges Nelson Mandela's will, demands house

06 August 2014, 09:14

Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela's second wife, Winnie, has launched a legal challenge to the will of the late anti-apartheid leader, the latest sign of feuding and bad blood in South Africa's first family.

In a letter sent by her lawyer to the executors of Mandela's estate, Madikizela-Mandela argued that her children should be in charge of Mandela's ancestral home at Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he was buried in December.

Madikizela-Mandela, a firebrand anti-apartheid activist who got divorced from Mandela in 1996 after it emerged she had cheated on him during his 27 years in prison, said she had bought the Qunu property in 1989 while Mandela was still behind bars, giving her ownership rights under traditional law.

Madikizela-Mandela was left nothing from Mandela's $4.1 million estate, which was divided between his family, the ruling African National Congress party, former staff and several schools.

Each of his six children and some of his 17 grandchildren received $300,000. The Qunu property was left in a family trust.

However, the letter from lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi said the Qunu house should be given to Madikizela-Mandela's two daughters, Zindzi and Zenani, and their children.

"It is only in this home that the children and grandchildren of Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela can conduct their own customs and tradition," said the letter, seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

"The children born in a marriage between Mr. Nelson Mandela and Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela shall be the joint custodians of the property, which devolve amongst their generations and generations," it continued.

The spat is the latest in a string of feuds between different factions of the Mandela family.

In one of the most damaging episodes, Mandela's oldest male heir - his grandson Mandla - exhumed the bodies of three of Mandela's children from Qunu and moved them to the nearby village of Mvezo, where Mandla had built a visitor centre dedicated to his grandfather.

As Mandela lay in hospital on life support a year ago, a rival family faction led by Mandla's aunt, Makaziwe, won a court order for the bodies to be re-exhumed and returned to Qunu.

Two weeks after Mandela's death, South African newspapers reported that Makaziwe had changed the locks on the Qunu house to keep Mandla out and had written him a letter ordering him to remove his dogs from the property.

Makaziwe's lawyer did not answer phone calls and Mandla's spokesman declined to comment on the letter.

Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer said deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, the will's main executor, had acknowledged receipt of the letter but gave no further details.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...