Mandla Mandela 'rubbishing women's rights'
Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - Nelson Mandela's controversial grandson, Mandla Mandela, has undermined the rule of law and “rubbished women’s rights” by his allegedly bigamous marriages.
This submission is contained in an affidavit filed in the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha on Thursday by his first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela.
She has formally applied to set aside Mandela’s latest marriage, to Mbalenhle Makhathini (also known as Nkokikazi Nodiyala Mandela) of Pietermaritzburg, on Christmas Eve, despite an interdict ordering him not to.
The marriage took place at Mvezo village in the Eastern Cape.
In her affidavit, Mabunu-Mandela said she and Mandela - who is an MP - married in Johannesburg on June 21, 2004, in community of property according to the provisions of the Marriage Act of 1981, and also celebrated their wedding according to African customary rites in Mthatha.
They are in the throes of protracted divorce proceedings.
She said that although it was correct that African customary law recognised polygamy, the same did not apply to marriage under the Marriage Act.
She said it seemed Mandela’s reasoning was that the law did not apply to him because he held the position of Chief Mvezo of the Abatembu and claimed that as a traditional leader he was entitled, or obliged, to take more than one wife from his community. She disputes this.
Mabunu-Mandela said an aggravating fact was that she also had to approach the courts to declare another marriage by him to French national Anais Grimaud illegal, and succeeded.
His marriage to a third woman, while still married to her, had infringed her right to human dignity.
“For him to carry on in the manner in which he has, has the effect of undermining the rule of law and rubbishing women’s rights,” she said.
She added that the publicity her husband had given to the latest marriage had caused her acute embarrassment and his conduct had deeply offended her.
“To add insult to injury this is the second time in less than two years in which he has entered into another void marriage.”