Mandela's ex-wife files suit disputing his will

AFP , Tuesday 14 Oct 2014

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela , former wife of Nelson Mandela (Photo: Reuters)

Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela Tuesday filed court papers challenging the late statesman's will, media reported.

Madikizela-Mandela wants ownership of Mandela's house in rural Qunu, which was left to the family trust and his widow Graca Machel, according to papers seen by Daily Dispatch newspaper.

The 78-year-old states that the house, built on an expansive estate where the revered South African leader is buried, was acquired by her in 1989, when he was still in prison.

In the papers filed in Mthatha High Court, southeast of Johannesburg, Madikizela-Mandela claims the registration of the house under Mandela's name was unlawful and should be set aside.

"The Qunu property remains my house and therefore the testament in so far as it seeks to dispose off that property is invalid and liable to be set aside from the will."

She list seven respondents, including President Jacob Zuma and Machel.

The couple divorced in 1996 and she was not named in his $4.4 million (3.4 million euro) estate in the will which was released in February.

Mandela gave money to various family members, staff, schools and his party, the African National Congress.

His third wife, Machel, received four properties in her native Mozambique as well as cars, art work, and jewellery -- many of which were her own assets that she brought to their marriage.

In his autobiography, Mandela said that after his 1990 release from prison, "I set about plans to build a country house for myself in Qunu"-- referring to the house in dispute.

Madikizela-Mandela, who is a member of parliament spends most of her time in her house in Soweto, south of Johannesburg.

Mandela died at the age of 95 on December 5 last year after a lengthy illness and Madikizela-Mandela often visited him in hospital and wore black morning attire after his death.

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