Winnie did nothing for 17 years – Bizos

2016-02-29 16:23
George Bizos (File, AFP)

George Bizos (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg – Former president Nelson Mandela's will did not provide for his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, advocate George Bizos told journalists on Monday.

Madikizela-Mandela is challenging Mandela's estate, seeking the rights to his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape.

Bizos, who is one of three executors of Mandela’s will, told journalists outside the Mthatha High Court that Madikizela-Mandela did nothing for 17 years after the property was registered in Mandela's name, according to Daily Sun reporter Yanga Soji.

According to tweets by Soji, Madikizela-Mandela's lawyers are arguing whether President Jacob Zuma has the power to dispose of the land.

Her lawyer, Patrick Ntshawulana, argued that Madikizela-Mandela remained Mandela’s wife and was a chief mourner at his funeral.

AbaThembu custom

Bizos said outside the court that Madikizela-Mandela’s divorce was legal and that she was disappointed, according to the Daily Sun reporter.

Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer in Mthatha, Mvuzo Notyesi, reportedly wrote to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, a co-executor of the will, 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.

"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.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  winnie madikizela-mandela  |  george bizos
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