Winnie to appeal judgment on Mandela's Qunu home

By Drum Digital
08 April 2016

Johannesburg - The ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, will continue to fight for the rights to his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape, despite her defeat in the Mthatha High Court.

"We are not happy about the judgment, obviously, and will be filing an appeal, either to the Supreme Court of Appeal or the Constitutional Court, depending on the issues we will be raising," Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer, Mvuzo Notyesi, told News24.

The papers for the appeal could be filed as early as next week.

In a quick judgment, the High Court had on Thursday dismissed Madikizela-Mandela's application for ownership of the late former president's home.

Notyesi said, when they looked at the judgment, they found that they were not in agreement with the court's findings.

"We disagree with the conclusion. It suggests that she should have [challenged] the will earlier, but she could not have vetted until everything was concluded," Notyesi said.

He said the court had judged the matter on technicalities, and not on its merits.

Notyesi had got the ball rolling on the legal battle when he reportedly wrote to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke two years ago.

In the letter, Notyesi argued that AbaThembu custom dictated that the rights to the property should go to Madikizela-Mandela and her descendants. This was applicable, irrespective of whether the wife was divorced or not, Notyesi wrote in the letter.

"It is only in this home that the children and grandchildren of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela can conduct their own customs and tradition."

Some AbaThembu leaders had argued that Madikizela-Mandela should have first approached the clan's elders, before laying claim to the estate.

On Thursday, the Royal House of Mandela celebrated the court victory.

Chief of the Royal House of Mandela, Mandla Mandela, said the ruling honoured Madiba's final wishes that the Qunu residence be managed by the executors of his estate.

When Mandela died in December 2013, he was married to Graca Machel.

In his will‚ Mandela bequeathed the property to the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust for the benefit of the Mandela family‚ including his third wife Machel and her children.

Source: News24

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