Winnie challenges Mandela’s will, demands house

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Johannesburg – Nelson Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, on Tuesday in Johannesburg launched a legal challenge to the Will of the late anti-apartheid leader.

In a letter sent by her lawyer to the executors of Mandela’s estate, Winnie argued 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.

She said she 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 dollars, while 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.

“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.

Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyer said Dikgang Moseneke, Deputy Chief Justice, the will’s main executor, had acknowledged receipt of the letter but gave no further details

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