Fight over Lebo's body

2007-04-08 16:44

Johannesburg - The biological mother of pop star Lebo Mathosa is set to launch a bid to have her daughter's remains exhumed and reburied in Port Elizabeth.

Nobomi Peters has instructed her lawyers to facilitate the legal process for the remains to be exhumed and reburied at Motherwell cemetery, closer to her home.

This will be a parallel process to the high court case in which she claims some of Mathosa's wealth, including her Lyndhurst home and royalties from the sale of her music.

Mathosa, 29, was killed on October 23 last year in an accident on the N3 highway near Germiston when the driver of her Toyota Prado lost control and it crashed into a tree.

She was buried at Phumlani cemetery in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg.

Her death resulted in a bitter stand-off between the singer's adoptive mother, Nomvula Mathosa, and Peters, who has indicated that she will stop at nothing to lay her hands on her daughter's riches - and now, her remains, too.

Mathosa did not have a will and her estate has now become the centre of a bitter battle between the two mothers in the award-winning singer's life.

The matter over Mathosa's estate has been set down for April 10.

But Peters' lawyer, Irene Welling-Bekker, says the matter might end up not going to court if the two parties reach an amicable solution by this week.

"We have served them with the papers detailing our demands and are waiting for their reply. The matter will depend on how they are going to respond," she said.

Welling-Bekker, who confirmed her client's wish to have Mathosa reburied in Port Elizabeth, refused to shed more light on the exhumation.

Nomvula Mathosa's lawyer, Lekoko Mateme, said: "The matter is very sensitive, so we can't divulge to the media what is in our affidavits. If it becomes necessary, we will comment once the court has made a ruling."

Peters could not be reached for comment.

Her relationship with the Mathosas has continued to deteriorate, with the two families not even talking to each other.

Peters was whisked away straight after Mathosa's funeral, where she sat in a separate tent and avoided eye contact with the Mathosas.

She claims that Mathosa was unfairly taken away from her when she was younger and that the Mathosas had shut her out of her daughter's life.

Approached for comment, Nomvula Mathosa said: "I have heard about that, but I don't want to talk about it. Rather talk to my lawyer."

Mathosa shot to fame in 1994 as a member of kwaito group Boom Shaka, before releasing her debut solo album, Dream, in 2000.

She also appeared in a number of local soapies and won numerous awards.

At the time of her death, her record company, EMI/CCP, claimed she was on the verge of an international breakthrough.

Nhlanhla Masinga, 20, the man who was driving the singer's car, was lucky to escape prosecution when the Alberton Magistrate's Court decided not to go ahead with culpable homicide charges against him, due to a lack of evidence.

The Mathosa family had wanted him to take responsibility for the accident, but a senior prosecutor, Kenneth Ramavhoya, said there were no eyewitnesses to testify that Masinga may have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

Police had also not taken blood samples from the driver.

The two were returning from a party at Yfm programme manager Bondo Ntuli's Parktown home when the accident happened.