Tata’s other children

2014-02-11 00:00

FORMER president Nelson Mandela’s alleged love children are not looking for his money — they only want his DNA in order to be sure of their ancestry.

This was said yesterday by the legal representative of the two women who claim that Mandela was their father.

Carte Blanche reported on Sunday night that the family of Onica Mothoa (66) and Mpho Pule (who had died in 2010) had asked the Master of the high court in Johannesburg to stop the payment of Madiba’s estate to determine if they are Mandela’s children.

An attorney from Pretoria, Delia de Vries, confirmed she had submitted the request to the court on behalf of the two families.

She said people were already condemning her clients, thinking they were after Madiba’s money, but this was not the case.

“The will has already been read. As far as I am concerned there is no room for a claim, except if a family member is very generous and opts to give them something.

“What they want is acknowledgment that they are his children. We want to use DNA to prove they are his daughters.”

De Vries said Mandela’s DNA was kept in a laboratory, but the two families could not get access to it.

“We know where the DNA is kept and this is what we want.

“Everyone wants to know which family they belong to, especially in Africa, where it is very important for people to know who their ancestors are.”

Next, it must be determined who has right of access to Madiba’s DNA.

“I have spoken to the attorneys representing the laboratory and they undertook to help where they can, but not even the biggest legal expert in the country can tell me to whom someone’s DNA belongs. The most common perception is that it belongs to the family.”

De Vries hopes her request to halt payments from the estate would put pressure on the Mandela family to help Mothoa’s and Pule’s families gain access to the DNA so that a paternity test can be conducted.

The claim by the two women is not new. Both have been saying for years they were born from separate affairs between their mothers and Mandela, while he was married to his first wife, Evelyn Mase. Both had met Mandela, but could not prove he was their father.

Michael Katz, one of the two attorneys handling Mandela’s estate, said on Friday he had received a letter from De Vries.

He said he had referred the letter to the executors and they would respond shortly.

He confirmed the women and their families were not requesting money.

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