Nelson Mandela's ex-wife seeks control of childhood home

An ex-wife of deceased South African President Nelson Mandela is exercising a legal claim on his childhood home in Qunu.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Aug. 5, 2014 at 1:17 PM
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, has issued a legal claim on his childhood home in Qunu.

Madikizela-Mandela was married to Mandela from 1958 until their divorce in 1996. Mandela was imprisoned for his anti-apartheid activism for 27 years of their marriage.

In Mandela's will, he bequeathed nothing to Madikizela-Mandela, but wrote that "The Qunu property should be used by my family in perpetuity in order to preserve the unity of the Mandela family."

Mvuzo Notyesi Incorporated, the legal firm representing Madikizela-Mandela's claim, has appealed to Mandela's executor, South Africa's Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, for consideration.

"The view we hold is that the aforesaid property belongs to the generation of Mr. Nelson Mandela and Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as their common and parental home. ...

"It is only in this home that the children and grandchildren of Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela can conduct their own customs and tradition and the house cannot be given to the sole custody of an individual nor can it be generally given to the custody of any person other than the children of Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela and/or her grandchildren."

Madikizela-Mandela was at the forefront of Mandela's funeral services in December, appearing with Mandela's widow, Graça Machel.

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