Moseneke did not receive Winnie's court papers relating to her divorce

By Drum Digital
16 October 2014

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says he has not yet received ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's court papers relating to her divorce from former president Nelson Mandela.

"He [Moseneke] asked me to advise you that he, as executor in the estate of the late Mr... Mandela, has not received any formal court papers relating to the court challenge allegedly instituted by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela against the deceased's estate," Moseneke's office told Sapa in an e-mail. Moseneke was therefore unable to answer any questions posed to him.

Madikizela-Mandela's attorney Mvuzo Notyesi told Sapa on Tuesday she had filed papers in the Mthatha High Court challenging Mandela's estate, seeking the rights to his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape.

Notyesi said the document had been sent to the respondents in the case, which included President Jacob Zuma, Mandela's widow Graça Machel, the executors of his estate, and the Nelson Mandela Family Trust.

Machel, meanwhile, was not in South Africa at the moment and unable to comment on the matter.

"Graca is not in the country right now and I don't think she will be able to respond to this right now. She will be back later this month," said Bongi Mlangeni, spokeswoman for the Graca Machel Trust.

In an e-mail to Sapa, the trust said: "Please be advised that Mrs Machel's schedule is filled to capacity with both her African and global commitments in the humanitarian and advocacy work that she does."

Her communication team said it would not be giving any interviews or responses concerning Machel's private affairs.

Another executor of Mandela's estate George Bizos could not be reached for comment.

However, it was reported that he would challenge the claims.

In August, Notyesi reportedly wrote to Moseneke arguing that AbaThembu custom dictated that the rights to the Qunu property go to Madikizela-Mandela and her descendants.

Madikizela-Mandela, 78, who was Mandela's second wife for 38 years, was left out of his will, following his death in December last year.

In her papers filed at court, Madikizela-Mandela submits that her divorce from Mandela was fraudulently obtained and wants the divorce order rescinded, according to the Daily Dispatch.

"The certificate is clearly a fraudulent document and it is quite obvious that [during] the divorce hearing the court was misled and the divorce order was obtained through fraud or misrepresentation," she was quoted as saying in her affidavit.

She claims she was not in the country when the divorce was finalised, and only saw the divorce order for the first time in August this year.

She also pointed out inaccuracies in the marriage certificate, which was issued by the then Republic of Transkei in June 1958.

The ANC veteran said the Transkei Republic did not exist in 1958 as "independence" was only granted in 1976. The signatures on the certificate did not belong to her or Mandela, she alleged, according to the newspaper.

According to City Press, Madikizela-Mandela says the registration of the house under Madiba's name was unlawful and should be set aside.

"I submit that in terms of customary law that husbands who are married or have been married in their lifetime to more than one wife have a legal duty to establish houses for each wife that they marry and each house must also be allotted property by the family head, and property which has not been allotted to a specific house is available for use and enjoyment by all members of the family," she said in her papers.

-SAPA

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