Third time lucky: Mandla Mandela negotiates lobola to local lass while first wife contests the nuptials

2011-12-22 00:00

WHILE Mvezo Chief Mandla Zwelivelile Mandela SMSed wedding invites to his third marriage, his estranged first wife, Thando Mabunu-Mandela, is contesting the nuptials in the Mthatha High Court, her lawyer Wesley Hayes said yesterday.

The Witness has learnt that the grandson of former state President Nelson Mandela, who is the leader of the Eastern Cape rural community of Mvezo, will be tying the knot with Mbali Makhathini, from Pelham in Pietermaritzburg, on Christmas Eve.

But this could prove difficult to see through, as Hays confirmed he has filed court papers to contest the marriage on Tuesday, on request of his client Mabunu. “My client is contesting this marriage as she did to the one with the second wife. She does so on the grounds that Mandela is still married to her.

“That second marriage has been declared null and void by the court and there are also conditions that the respondent needs to stick to, which he has failed to do,” said Hayes. Mabunu also took Mandela to court when he married Anais Grimaus of Reunion Island early last year.

Mandela married Grimaus while he was engaged in the ongoing divorce process with Mabunu.

Grimaus has since borne Mandela a son, who was named Qheya Zanethemba by his great grandfather Nelson Mandela.

It has been reported that early this week a sheriff of the court attached a vehicle and an undisclosed number of cattle from Chief Mandela, after he failed to make payments to his estranged wife as per a court order awarded in favour of Mabunu-Mandela early this year.

The court ordered Mandela to pay Mabunu’s legal fees and R12 500 monthly maintenance, while the divorce proceedings were under way.

Mandela, who is an ANC member of parliament, reportedly failed to adhere to the order, a move which lead to Mabunu appealing to the court to have his assets attached.

Reports are that half the money in Mandela’s bank accounts had also been frozen pending the finalisation of the divorce.

Mandela has meanwhile started preparations for a wedding on Christmas Eve and the lobola (bride’s price) negotiations have been completed.

The guests have already received invitations by SMS. The wedding is set to take place at the Mvezo village in the Eastern Cape.

When contacted for comment yesterday, Makhathini, a student at the Mangosuthu University of Technology declined to comment.

She said: “At this stage I’m not saying anything to anyone. I respect my tradition and privacy so I wish you could do the same”.

Chief Mandela told this reporter that he does not speak to journalists. “For whatever reason you are phoning I would advise you to go and look for those who speak to journalists,” he said.

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