Unpaid lawyers’ bills: Mandla Mandela’s wife to go to court

2013-11-10 06:00

Mandla Mandela’s wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, is planning to approach the courts to prevent her husband from paying his mounting legal fees from their joint estate.

On Wednesday, City Press reported that Mandla’s attorneys, Randall Titus and Associates, had withdrawn as his attorneys of record and had taken him to court to recover about R500 000 that he owes them.

Mabunu-Mandela’s lawyer, Wesley Hayes, said they were drafting court papers to present to the Western Cape High Court where the matter was being heard.

Hayes said he did not want his client, Mabunu-Mandela, to be prejudiced by Mandla paying his legal fees from their joint estate.

“We have heard that he owes his lawyers a lot of money. We want to ensure that when he pays them, it’s from his own half of the joint estate,” Hayes said.

The couple, who married in 2004, is embroiled in a bitter divorce settlement which has dragged on since 2009.

Hayes said he could not dwell on the matter since it was not yet a public document.

“All I can say is that we will bring an application before the courts to make sure our client’s interests are protected,” he said.

On Wednesday, Randall Ralph Titus, director of the Cape Town law firm, confirmed to City Press that they no longer represented Mandla, the eldest grandson of Nelson Mandela.

Court papers before the Western Cape High Court revealed that the firm had demanded payment of R467 400 and 15.5% interest.

“Yes, I can confirm that we have withdrawn as Mr Mandela’s lawyers. This is due to lack of instructions and other things. We have issued summons to a sheriff to recover our money from him,” Titus said.

He also said they expected the sheriff to attach Mandla’s assets to recover their money.

Mandla could not be reached for comment on Friday as his phone rang unanswered.

His lawyer, Gary Jansen, did not want to comment on the matter.

“I have decided not to give interviews or to comment to the media. Mandla is my client I and am not prepared to discuss anything regarding him with you,” Jansen said.

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