black women

Winnie Mandela challenges Nelson’s family estate

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winnie-mandelApril V. Taylor

The Daily Dispatch has obtained an exclusive copy of a letter submitted on behalf of Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in which she demands rights to his Qunu home. The letter is addressed deputy judge president Dikgang Monseneke, who is one of the executors of Mandela’s estate, and is dates July 18, which happens to be Mandela’s birthday. Mandela’s will states, “The Qunu property should be used by my family in perpetuity in order to preserve the unity of the Mandela family.”

The letter submitted on Winnie’s behalf cites the fact that the Qunu home was first purchased while she and Mandela were still married and that AbaThembu custom allows for the house to be passed to Winnie and her descendants. Attorney Mvuyo Notyesi points out in the letter that each of the children born from Mandela’s three different marriages have rights to the common homes that each of the wives shared with Mandela during their marriages. Notyesi also points out that the custom is applicable whether the wives were divorced or not.

Notyesi also points out that the property was actually obtained by Winnie while Mandela was in prison in 1989. Winnie does not want her actions to be viewed as an attack on Mandela’s will but rather an assertion of her customary and traditional rights. AbaThembu elders are expected to file supporting affidavits regarding the custom. Moseneke has acknowledged receipt of the letter and reports that the claim will be discussed at an executors’ meeting on Thursday.

Winnie and Mandela were married for 38 years with much of that time spent with him in prison. Despite their long marriage, Winnie was left out of Mandela’s will. The couple’s two daughters Zenani Mandela Dlamini and Zindzi are both reported to have received R3-million outside of the will.

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12 Comments

  1. TM

    August 6, 2014 at 7:55 am

    The court has a tough decision to make. Especially, in a country that practiced law based on what is customary. Generally speaking, all property acquired by either spouse before the marriage is considered non-marital property. All property acquired after the marriage is considered property of the marriage or marital property. If the property is marital property then the court must “equitably” divided
    Thirty eight years of marrisge should carry some weight. Is it mot customary settle the divorced under the court equitable distribution system or did Winnie assumed she would always be apart of the Qunu estate? I hope the judge will do the right thing to protect the intergrity of Neldon Mandela’s estate.

  2. TM

    August 6, 2014 at 8:02 am

    The court has a tough decision to make. Especially, in a country that practiced law based on what is customary. Generally speaking, all property acquired by either spouse before the marriage is considered non-marital property. All property acquired after the marriage is considered property of the marriage or marital property. If the property is marital property then the court must “equitably” divided
    Thirty eight years of marriage should carry some weight. Is it not customary to settle the divorced under the court equitable distribution system or did Winnie assumed she would always be apart of the Qunu estate? I hope the judge will do the right thing to protect the intergrity of Nelson Mandela’s estate.

  3. Daisy

    August 6, 2014 at 11:23 am

    She should be awarded the house. It was wrong for Nelson to leave her out of his will. She hung in there with him for 38 years, even while in prison. How many women will stand by a man who incarcerated for 27 years? She is not only entitled to the house, but she earned the right to have the house.

    • Turner

      August 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Daisy she did not hang in there with him during his lengthy stay in prison. She made a mockery of Mandela’s political cause.

      • Winnie

        August 7, 2014 at 6:16 am

        What do you know … you never walked in the people shoes. She is a hero, a woman of substance, it was a war, people die in war.

        Mr. Mandela had blood on his hands too. He was not an innocent. It was because of WINNIE that he was not forgotten in that prison and the world could not forget because she was brave and fought and the world listen … so you sit to fuck down Turner and give some respect to a black woman!!!!

  4. Turner

    August 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Really? This is the same woman who could not be faithful and carry on her husbands cause without sleeping with the help. The same woman that left a trail of dead bodies behind her and now she wants to challenge the estate of Mandela. Sit down somewhere Winnie you wasn’t even the first wife!

    • Winnie

      August 7, 2014 at 6:37 am

      You know nothing Turner! You do not understand what apartheid was like and not to mention, how a black woman was viewed in SA … She deserve not only part of his estate but RESPECT.

      Mr. Mandela greatness became known because he had a great woman in front of him whilst he was in prison. The world listened because of WINNIE Mandala affirmative actions for the cause, a true soldier. There could not have been peace without war … she has her place in history.

  5. Earline Bentley

    August 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Let African laws handle this situation!!!!butt out all others!!!!!!!

  6. Wes Bernard

    August 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    All I can say is Winnie was the true revolutionary, while Nelson was the figurehead. If she fails to win the house, it will follow the pattern of reward those who maintain the white supremacy system and punish anyone or anything that threatens it’s perpetuation. Right on Winnie. We hope and pray that you at least win this battle outright. Shalom, my sister, to you and all you love.

  7. Misty

    August 7, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Turner, I read that the government in charge made up the stories of Winnie’s unfaithfulness. That came out after Mandela left her. I do not know what happened but all the while he was in prison, it was written about her fight to get him out. Perhaps you know them. I don’t.

    I am slow to take anything in the press as truth. Here in America all we know is who was involved. The truth of the matter is usually conjecture. I know that the media is not about getting the facts correct. That is something I know.

    I can only hope justice prevails and that Winnie gets whatever should be hers. Only she knows what should be hers.

  8. silotassel

    August 7, 2014 at 8:44 am

    A wife has got a right to his husband’s legacy

  9. Devon

    August 8, 2014 at 12:41 am

    He didnt want Winnie to have anything so she needs to go somewhere and sit down. While Mandela was on lockdown she was hoin’ around. Beitch need to stop lookin for handouts.

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