Qunu home is Winnie's customary right - court papers

2016-08-23 21:46
Winnie Mandela Madikizela (File, Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

Winnie Mandela Madikizela (File, Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

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Bloemfontein – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s right to the late Nelson Mandela’s homestead is as not a common law right but a customary law right, according to court papers.

Madikizela-Mandela has filed papers in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, asking it to set aside the ruling of the High Court in Mthata, which dismissed her application to acquire Mandela's home in Qunu, Eastern Cape.

In her affidavit, Madikizela-Mandela said she sought an order reviewing and setting aside a decision taken by the Minister of land affairs on November 16, 1997, in which the land was donated to the late former president Nelson Mandela.

She said the disposal of the property was only taken in November 1997, while their civil divorce took place in 1996.

She added that the trial court had lost sight of the fact that her informal customary law rights did not feature in the civil divorce proceeding, because “the civil divorce occurred in 1996 while the decision to dispose the land was taken in 1997, at least one year later.”

Madikizela-Mandela said she only became aware of the disposal when the content of Mandela’s will became known.

“The court erred in making its value judgment as to when a reasonable person in my position would have become aware of the decision to dispose.”

She said witnesses who filed affidavits in support of her application were unanimous in the account of events.

“They all confirmed that the land in question was allotted to me as the second wife of Mr Mandela. They all further confirmed that Qunu community had not consented to the disposal of the land,” the court papers read.

She said even after the end of their marriage she often visited Qunu without any appointment.

“I performed rituals there and am regarded as an elder in the Mandela family. To date I still perform all the traditions and customs of Mandela family as a wife.”

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  winnie madikizela-mandela  |  east london

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