Ayob responds to Mandela claims

2013-05-26 14:00

The statement that Madiba’s family is ripped apart is not true, writes Ismail Ayob.

I refer to the article “Will R25m split Mandelas?” (City Press, April 14 2013).

This letter is forwarded to you through an intervention by the Press Ombudsman.

Your article contains a large number of untruths and inaccuracies that need to be corrected.

The statement that the Mandela family is being ripped apart and that the application is being supported by a few grandchildren is not true.

The family is totally united behind Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, and they are supported by their sister, Zindzi, as well as all the adult grandchildren except Mandla Mandela, who initially supported the application but now appears to have changed his mind.

The application is simply to remove advocate George Bizos, attorney Bally Chuene and Cabinet minister Tokyo Sexwale as directors of two Mandela companies on the grounds that their appointments are irregular.

The rest and remainder of the article is not supported by the court application. It is not about anything else.

It is not about the Mandelas or myself marketing artworks, nor is it an application by the Mandelas, as alleged by City Press, “to get their hands on R25?million”.

It is deeply offensive to allege that the applicants, Makaziwe and Zenani, are being convinced by me to proceed with legal action. The decision is theirs.

Despite your allegations throughout the article, I have not suggested that they should market artworks.

You also say that they are shareholders of the companies.

This is untrue. The Mandela Trust is the shareholder.

Your further allegation that my name is written all over the application is equally offensive. I am the instructing attorney.

Despite your allegations, I never bought a signing machine, Ross Calder is not my partner and I never sold artworks.

You further state that Nelson Mandela terminated my instructions. This is not true.

I had declined to act any longer for him. This is all confirmed in my affidavit submitted to court in 2005, and which has never been refuted.

A further inaccuracy reported by you is that the Mandela Trust markets artworks. The Mandela Trust actually holds assets belonging to the Mandela family.

You go on to say that there is a shrine to Nelson Mandela in my office. In actual fact, of the 91 prints, photographs and artefacts in the office, only four bear the image of Nelson Mandela.

Bizos did not obtain any interdict against me.

Nelson Mandela made an extensive application against me in 2005 making a number of allegations, which I refuted, asking me not to sell prints, which I had never done, and asking for audited accounts, which I furnished.

He was the applicant and he has not filed a replying affidavit for the last seven-and-a-half years.

It seems that Nelson Mandela has abandoned that application.

I had not realised that Bizos was your source. You report, even quoting him, as saying that he was behind the application of 2005 and felt that he had done enough.

This is news to me.

It also appears to me Bizos seems to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about me and then endeavours to articulate and publish fantasies through the media.

This while I am not given an opportunity to refute such falsehoods.

I trust that you will ensure falsehoods are not published in future without regard to the truth and accuracy of your published reports.

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