Tutu’s health scare fails to end family rift
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