Mandla Mandela steers clear of Bizos saga

2013-04-18 18:32
Nelson Mandela (Picture: AP)

Nelson Mandela (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The family of Nelson Mandela sought on Thursday to present a united front in a dispute with longtime associates of the former president over control of two companies.

In a statement, all but one of Mandela's grandchildren said the associates, including lawyer George Bizos and Tokyo Sexwale, have tried to portray the Mandela family as "insensitive money-grabbers" with no respect for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

"Most of us are gainfully employed, work for our own companies and run our own projects," said the statement, which did not identify any of the grandchildren by name.

Mandela has 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, according to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, a foundation based in Johannesburg.

They include granddaughter Tukwini Mandela, marketing director of a winemaking company that carries the Mandela name, and two other granddaughters who are starring in a US television reality show titled Being Mandela.

The statement was approved by all the grandchildren except Mandla Mandela. Reports have quoted Mandla Mandela as saying he wants to distance himself from the dispute.

Two daughters of 94-year-old Mandela have opened a court case against Bizos and associates, saying they should not remain directors of two companies whose proceeds are supposed to benefit the Mandela family.

Bizos says he is a longtime supporter of the Mandela family and that he got involved in the companies on Mandela's instructions.

The main purpose of the firms, Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings, is to channel funds from the sale of handprint artwork by Mandela for the benefit of his family.

Norton Rose, the law firm representing Bizos, says his position will be laid out in court papers likely to be filed in mid-May.

Mandela has withdrawn from public life, and is currently receiving medical care at his home in Johannesburg after several hospital visits in recent months.

He was discharged from a hospital in Pretoria earlier this month after treatment for pneumonia.

The statement from the Mandela grandchildren said "our mothers, aunts and lawyer have our full support".

It said the court action by Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, daughters of Nelson Mandela, is not about "money and exploitation of the Mandela name".

The goal of the legal action is to safeguard the interests of beneficiaries and shareholders, in line with a trust set up by Mandela to provide for his family, the statement said.

The Star newspaper has quoted Bizos as saying Makaziwe Mandela's goal is to take some company money without providing details of how it would be used.

"That is contrary to the provisions of the trust. Therefore we refused to give her the money," The Star quoted him as saying.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  george bizos  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.