South Africa: Twist in Madikizela-Mandela's challenge against Mandela's estate

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - In a dramatic development in Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s legal challenge against the estate of Nelson Mandela, her defence is claiming that her divorce from the former world statesman was fraudulently obtained.

Court documents which have been made available suggest she was not even in the country when her highly-publicised divorce from Mandela was finalised, and that no amicable settlement was reached.

Madikizela-Mandela has set her sights on Mandela’s Qunu property, the homestead in the Eastern Cape where the former South African President was born – and buried – last year.

Her legal team filed papers in the Eastern Cape High Court on Tuesday. The papers include a copy of the couple’s marriage certificate from June 1958.

“The certificate is clearly a fraudulent document and it is quite obvious that during the divorce hearing the court was misled and the divorce order was obtained through fraud or misrepresentation,” Madikizela-Mandela said in her affidavit.  

Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi claims the local tribal custom dictates that the rights to the property go to Madikizela-Mandela and her descendants.

Madikizela-Mandela, who was known as “the Mother of the Nation” during her husband’s lengthy imprisonment, was married to him for 38 years.

Although they were still married at the time of his becoming president of South Africa in May 1994, they had been separated since 1992 after she had a high-profile affair. Their divorce was finalised in 1996.

Nelson Mandela, who remarried former Mozambican First Lady Graca Machel on his 80th birthday, excluded Madikizela-Mandela from his will.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 15Oct2014

15 october 2014 08:20:18

xhtml CSS