Tutu’s health scare fails to end fam­ily rift

CityPress - - News - BIÉNNE HUIS­MAN bi­enne.huis­man@city­press.co.za

Arch­bishop Desmond Tutu’s health scare, which forced him to spend a week in hos­pi­tal, ap­pears to have done lit­tle to re­pair deep di­vi­sions in his fam­ily.

His grand­daugh­ter Ziyanda Tutu (30), who hit the head­lines two months ago af­ter her grand­mother, Leah, laid crim­i­nal charges against her, told City Press that she was not pre­pared to ex­tend an olive branch to her grand­par­ents – even af­ter her 83-year-old grand­fa­ther was ad­mit­ted to a hos­pi­tal in Cape Town last week for treat­ment of what was de­scribed as a “re­cur­ring in­fec­tion”. On Fri­day, po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Fred­er­ick van Zyl said Mil­ner­ton po­lice were con­tin­u­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Tu­tus’ eldest grand­daugh­ter, but no ar­rests had yet been made in con­nec­tion with the case.

Leah Tutu (81) laid two crim­i­nal charges against Ziyanda at the Mil­ner­ton Po­lice Sta­tion ear­lier this year: one for ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty on May 7 and one for in­tim­i­da­tion on May 9.

This week, a source close to the fam­ily said Leah re­mained res­o­lute that her way­ward grand­daugh­ter should face the mu­sic, and would not back down should Ziyanda be ar­rested. Ziyanda is a renowned wine afi­cionado and so­cialite who holds a BSc in viti­cul­ture and oenol­ogy from Elsen­burg Col­lege near Stel­len­bosch.

She has not de­nied al­le­ga­tions that she smashed the fam­ily crock­ery and grabbed her grand­mother’s walk­ing stick dur­ing a fight at her grand­par­ents’ home in Mil­ner­ton.

“I have not been in touch with them and I’m not plan­ning to get in touch with them ei­ther,” she told City Press last week.

On Fri­day, she said “noth­ing has changed”, but de­clined to elab­o­rate.

Ziyanda drew gasps when she de­clared war against her grand­par­ents on so­cial media in May.

“We are wag­ing war. Truths will be re­vealed,” she wrote on Twit­ter.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with City Press, Ziyanda dis­missed ru­mours that she had a drink­ing prob­lem. “I drink al­co­hol, but I am not an al­co­holic. I have never been to re­hab.”

On Fri­day, Leah de­clined to com­ment, telling City Press on the phone that she was busy car­ing for her ill hus­band.

“I’m hold­ing an ap­ple in my hand right now. I’m mak­ing my hus­band a smoothie. I re­ally can­not dis­cuss this right now,” she said.

In an ear­lier in­ter­view, Leah told City Press she was “heart­bro­ken” by her grand­daugh­ter’s be­hav­iour.

Ziyanda’s fa­ther, Trevor, has made head­lines him­self over the years. He was ar­rested at East Lon­don Air­port in 1989 for threat­en­ing to ex­plode a bomb on board an SAA plane, and a main­te­nance bat­tle re­lated to the teenage son he fa­thered with a Zim­bab­wean woman is con­tin­u­ing.

Desmond, who has suf­fered from prostate can­cer, was hos­pi­talised and treated with in­tra­venous an­tibi­otics for a week.

Leah vis­ited him at the hos­pi­tal twice a day un­til he re­turned home on Tues­day.

Af­ter a week in hos­pi­tal, Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Desmond Tutu is back home with his wife, Leah


Ziyanda Palesa Tutu

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