Mandla conquers Winnie in court

2015-01-13 17:36

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A meeting of the AbaThembu royal families can go ahead at Nelson Mandela’s Qunu home, the Mthatha High Court has ruled.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had tried to interdict her late husband’s eldest grandson Mandla Mandela from holding the meeting this coming Friday.

Madikizela-Mandela recently lodged a court bid in which she claimed ownership of the late statesman’s Eastern Cape home. Today in court, her lawyers alleged that Mandla’s planned meeting could lead to violence and vandalism of the property.

This came after some of the AbaThembu invited to the meeting said they would carry weapons in anticipation of violence breaking out.

Madikizela-Mandela also opposed the fact she was not invited to the meeting, at which only men are permitted, and argued that it could not take place at “her” property without her being consulted.

Professor Billy Gundelfinger, for Mandla, said Madikizela-Mandela’s application was “based on wrong facts”.

“The application is riddled with insults and unsubstantiated remarks. The application is misconceived,” Gundelfinger said.

Gundelfinger told that court Madikizela-Mandela had said in court papers she wouldn’t discuss matters related to the Qunu house with Mandla because he was just a “child”.

He said this was not correct because Mandla was a 40-year-old adult and community leader – he is the chief of Mvezo” – and said this proved the sort of “bad attitude Madikizela-Mandela had brought the application.

Arguing on behalf of Madikizela-Mandela, Mvuzo Notyesi was at pains to convince Judge Zamani Nhlangulela that the matter should be postponed while he sought to join the executors of Nelson Mandela’s will to the application.

Nhlangulela responded that Notyesi had had plenty of time to do this before bringing the matter to court on an urgent basis.

He struck the matter off the roll, scolding Notyesi for bringing it to court urgently and then asking for a postponement.

He ordered that Madikizela-Mandela should pay Mandla’s costs.

An excited Mandla, who hugged and congratulated his lawyer, said he was “relieved”.

Madikizela-Mandela was not in court.

Mandla told journalists outside the court: “We are delighted as a family with the outcome. I want to thank the legal team for having represented us well today. Justice has been realised today.”

He said the meeting on Friday sought to resolve the family’s ongoing problems.

“It’s not a meeting that seeks to antagonise people or ensure that there are factions in the family. It’s a meeting of Madiba men that want to understand what are the issues, so they can be resolved in a peaceful manner,” he said.

Mandla said his grandfather had always taught them to be peaceful and resolve differences around the table.

“Anyone who claims to be a member of the family is welcome to come inside the meeting and lay their differences. But as I said before there are many people who want to be on the Mandela bandwagon today – even in this case that has been the case.”

Notyesi, meanwhile, said they would consider bringing another urgent application “because the judge did not deal with the merits and the demerits of the application”.

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