Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke has not yet received ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s court papers relating to her divorce from former president Nelson Mandela.
“He [Moseneke] asked me to advise you that he, as executor in the estate of the late … Mandela, has not received any formal court papers relating to the court challenge allegedly instituted by Mrs Madikezela-Mandela against the deceased’s estate,” Moseneke’s office told the South African Press Association in an email. Moseneke was therefore unable to answer any questions posed to him.
Madikizela-Mandela’s attorney Mvuzo Notyesi told Sapa on Tuesday she had filed papers in the high court in Mthatha challenging Mandela’s estate, seeking the rights to his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape.
At the time, Notyesi said the document had been sent to the respondents in the case, which included President Jacob Zuma, Mandela’s widow Graça Machel, the executors of his estate, and the Nelson Mandela Family Trust.
In August, Notyesi reportedly wrote to Moseneke arguing that AbaThembu custom dictated that the rights to the Qunu property go to Madikizela-Mandela and her descendants. Madikizela-Mandela (78) who was Mandela’s second wife for 38 years, was left out of his will, following his death in December last year.
‘Fraudulently obtained’ divorce
In her papers filed at court, Madikizela-Mandela submits that her divorce from Mandela was fraudulently obtained and wants the divorce order rescinded, according to the Daily Dispatch.
“The certificate is clearly a fraudulent document and it is quite obvious that [during] the divorce hearing the court was misled and the divorce order was obtained through fraud or misrepresentation,” she was quoted as saying in her affidavit.
She claims she was not in the country when the divorce was finalised, and only saw the divorce order for the first time in August this year. She also pointed out inaccuracies in the marriage certificate, which was issued by the then Republic of Transkei in June 1958.
The ANC veteran said the Transkei Republic did not exist in 1958 as “independence” was only granted in 1976. The signatures on the certificate did not belong to her or Mandela, she alleged, according to the newspaper.
According to City Press, Madikizela-Mandela says the registration of the house under Madiba’s name was unlawful and should be set aside.
“I submit that in terms of customary law that husbands who are married or have been married in their lifetime to more than one wife have a legal duty to establish houses for each wife that they marry and each house must also be allotted property by the family head, and property which has not been allotted to a specific house is available for use and enjoyment by all members of the family,” she said in her papers. – Sapa