South Africa: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela loses claim to Mandela's home

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's bid to lay claim to her former husband's rural home in Qunu was dismissed by the Mthatha High Court on Thursday.

Madikizela-Mandela last year sparked an outcry when she launched a legal challenge against the estate, with her lawyers claiming that her divorce from the former President was fraudulently obtained.  

Her lawyer, Mvuzo Notyesi, claimed that the local tribal custom dictates that the rights to the property go to Madikizela-Mandela and her descendants. She disputed the judge’s “colonialist” view that her customary marriage to Mandela was overridden by her civil marriage. Furthermore, she claimed that her customary marriage to Mandela was never dissolved.

However, Mthatha Deputy Judge President Zamani Nhlangulela dismissed her application and ordered her to pay the legal costs of the Mandela estate’s executors and the former Land Affairs Minister Derek Hanekom‚ who were respondents in the case.

Madikizela-Mandela, who was known as “the Mother of the Nation” during Mandela's lengthy imprisonment, was married to him for 38 years. Although they were still married when Mandela became 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.

Mandela, who remarried former Mozambican First Lady Graca Machel on his 80th birthday, excluded Madikizela-Mandela from his will. He died in 2013 and was buried on the property.
-0- PANA CU/MA 7April2016

07 Abril 2016 11:08:05

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