Makaziwe Mandela denies scramble for financial gain

2013-07-05 15:32

Former president Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter has denied that the family is scrambling for the financial benefits of her father’s legacy.

“That is media with an agenda,” Makaziwe Mandela said in an interview with African affairs magazine, New African, published in its July issue.

“Nothing can be further from the truth ... There are those who are intent on a ‘free-for-all’ access to his intellectual property for their own commercial gain.

“We have seen purveyors of his name, in many instances for gain, and have kept a dignified silence as a family. But there comes a time when we, as a family, have to take stand, otherwise we are not Mandela,” she said.

Yesterday, Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, said the root of the problem ripping the Mandela family apart is that he dared to go against the family on the matter of Madiba’s money.

Read: Mandla Mandela: ‘It’s all about the money’

Earlier this year, it was reported that Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini were suing their father for the rights to his artworks and control of his millions.

The Star newspaper reported that the sisters intended fighting an order, made by the High Court in Johannesburg in April 2004, which gave Nelson Mandela the right to instruct Ismail Ayob, his former lawyer, to stop managing his financial, personal, and legal affairs.

The court order barred Ayob from selling any of the former president’s artwork. It was alleged at the time that Ayob and art publisher Ross Calder cashed in on reproduced copies of Mandela’s limited edition, signed artwork.

The sisters’ lawsuit was reportedly being challenged by Mandela’s current lawyer, Bally Chuene, who filed an affidavit in mid-May.

Read: Will R25m split Mandelas?

In April this year the sisters, represented by Ayob, launched a court case against several of Mandela’s business associates in a dispute over control of two companies.

In her interview with the magazine, Makaziwe Mandela spoke about Mandela’s legacy. She said although people often associated her father’s legacy with forgiveness and reconciliation after apartheid, they forgot about his passion for the next generation.

“Remember on retirement he set up the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund ... He tirelessly encouraged captains of industry to build schools.

“He has stated that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world,” Makaziwe Mandela said.

The anti-apartheid icon was admitted to hospital on June 8 because of a recurring lung infection. Today was his 28th day in hospital.

The presidency yesterday said Mandela was still in a critical but stable condition.

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