- Zenani and Zindzi Mandela are heading to the Constitutional Court to challenge their father’s will with regards to the family home in Qunu
- Madiba’s will left the Qunu home under the stewardship of the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust, with the proceeds being distributed to members of the Mandela family
- Zenani and Zindzi are daughters of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and believe the Constitutional Court will rule in their favour despite the Supreme Court of Appeals dismissing a similar challenge launched by their late mother
Nelson Mandela’s daughters Zenani and Zindzi Mandela are heading to the Constitutional Court to challenge their father’s decision to leave the family home in Qunu, Eastern Cape under the stewardship of a family trust.
The duo who are the daughters of Madiba and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela believes the Constitutional Court will rule in their favour and set a new precedent for women’s rights under customary and traditional law.
Zenani and Zindzi believe they have a strong case, despite a similar challenge by their mother being dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Briefly.co.za gathered that according to Madiba’s will the family home in the Eastern Cape is being administered by the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust and the proceeds are distributed to members of the Mandela family.
This distribution of funds includes Madiba’s wife Graca Machel, but she has since waived all rights income from the property.
Timeslive.co.za reported that Zenani and Zindzi were appointed as the executor of their mother Winnie’s will earlier this year. The duo have up to now not been involved with the legal battle initiated by Winnie in 2014.
According to court papers, the duo asked for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court based on the fact that they believe Machel should not be an executor of their father’s estate.
They further claim that their late mother should under customary law be granted ownership of the Qunu property. These rights should be passed from their mother to them because they were both born out of a customary marriage.
The sisters maintain they are pursuing the matter for more than material gain. They said the matter carried some serious ramification for the rights of women under customary law.
The sister’s legal representative Mvuzo Notyesi said the guiding principle of the case was to gain an important legal position on the rights of women when it came to property obtained through customary or tribal law.
The matter is being opposed by Advocate George Bizos who apart from being a long-standing friend of the late former president and his personal lawyer is also one of the executors of Mandela’s estate.
Bizos filed his own affidavit with the Constitutional Court and noted that the case had no merits and was baseless because there were no constitutional matters at stake.
He said the applicant’s claim that the traditional marriage was never terminated was based on a now discredited idea that in such cases the original lobola payment had to be returned.
Bizos said it was clear that Nelson and Winnie Mandela decided to end their marriage when they started living apart in 1992 and the subsequent divorce in 1996. He added that Madikizela-Mandela had taken 17-years to make a claim on the property.
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