Storm over Mandela brand

By Drum Digital
29 April 2013

Relatives of former president Nelson Mandela have over the past year established companies directly trading under his name, which is one of the most valuable personal global brands, it was reported on Monday.

This despite the fact that the Nelson Mandela Foundation has fiercely guarded the trademark over the past decade.

According to Beeld, a source who wanted to remain anonymous said Mandela's children and grandchildren were concerned they would lose their right to Mandela's name after his death, because Mandela and Graça Machel were married in community of property.

Towards the end of 2010, Nelson Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela and her daughter Tukwini Mandela established the House of Mandela, a range of wines which was launched in America.

In 2012, Mandela's grandchildren Zamaswazi Dlamini and Zaziwe Dlamini established the Long Walk to Freedom Brand.

Also in 2012, Zondwa Mandela, a former co-director along with President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma of the disastrous Aurora mine, founded a company, Mandela 95th Birthday.

Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, with the support of a third child and most of his grandchildren, have started a court battle over the Nelson Mandela brand.

Ismail Ayob, who is representing Mandela's children and grandchildren in the case, has said it is an attempt by the Mandela family "to claim back what is rightfully theirs".

Ayob said he discovered in 2012 that Advocate George Bizos, lawyer Bally Chuene, Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale, and Eastern Cape Judge Temba Sangoni were appointed in 2006 as directors of two Mandela companies.

Mandela's children and grandchildren have claimed in court documents that these appointments were illegal and they have applied for an order to have them removed.

If the application is granted, Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini will be the only two directors.

-Sapa

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