Le­gal ac­tion re­gard­ing Joost’s will dec­la­ra­tion can­celled

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VEN­TER

THE FAM­ILY of rugby leg­end Joost van der Westhuizen are no longer go­ing ahead with le­gal pro­ceed­ings to try to de­clare a will which was left un­signed by the for­mer Spring­bok as valid.

The will is said to be the last one drafted on be­half of Joost in 2015, in terms of which his es­tranged wife Amor Vit­tone only in­her­ited a tele­vi­sion set.

This will was ear­lier re­jected by the mas­ter of the high court, as it was not signed by the then al­ready ail­ing Joost. He suf­fered from mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease and was too weak to sign him­self.

His lawyer, Ferdi Hartzen­berg, signed it as com­mis­sioner of oaths, but some­one had to sign on be­half of Joost.

Hartzen­berg did not want to com­ment on the is­sue, other than to con­firm that they will no longer launch ur­gent pro­ceed­ings in the high court in Pre­to­ria to have that will de­clared valid.

“I have re­ceived in­struc­tions from Joost’s fam­ily not to go ahead with the ap­pli­ca­tion,” Hartzen­berg told The Star’s sis­ter paper, the Pre­to­ria News.

It is un­der­stood that most of Joost’s as­sets have in any event been moved to the J9 Trust, which trus­tees will ad­min­is­ter. The trus­tees are in the process of be­ing ap­pointed. Joost’s two chil­dren, Jor­dan, 13, and Kylie, 11, are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

It is un­der­stood that the as­sets in the trust, among oth­ers, in­clude two prop­er­ties. The chil­dren will ben­e­fit from the trust once they have come of age.

Amor has, mean­while, sub­mit­ted a will signed by both of them in 2009, in terms of which she in­her­ited ev­ery­thing in the es­tate. This in­cludes Joost’s half of their home in Dain­fern Val­ley. Amor owned the other half.

The fam­ily will also not con­test this will as it is be­lieved that the fam­ily are not in­ter­ested in fur­ther con­fronta­tion with Amor re­gard­ing Joost’s as­sets.

The J9 Trust is, mean­while, at this stage still pay­ing main­te­nance to Amor for the care of their two chil­dren.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view on a ra­dio sta­tion last week, Amor made it clear that she was act­ing in the best in­ter­ests of her chil­dren. She wanted them to main­tain the life­style and hob­bies they were ac­cus­tomed to.

Joost passed away in Fe­bru­ary this year fol­low­ing a long battle with mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease. He and Amor were still mar­ried in com­mu­nity of prop­erty at the time of his death, al­though they were sep­a­rated.

Joost made a new will – the one re­jected by the mas­ter of the high court – in terms of which his chil­dren in­her­ited ev­ery­thing. In terms of this now in­valid will, Joost made it clear that Amor may not re­ceive any direct ben­e­fit from the J9 Trust. He also stated in that will that it was im­por­tant for him that his chil­dren main­tained a good re­la­tion­ship with his par­ents.

He also spec­i­fied cer­tain items in that will which he wanted his chil­dren to have. These in­cluded sev­eral World Cup mem­o­ra­bilia which were to be di­vided be­tween the chil­dren, as well as his Spring­bok blaz­ers.

Joost was em­broiled in bit­ter le­gal pro­ceed­ings un­til shortly be­fore his death with the At­tor­neys Fidelity Fund to se­cure R385665 held in a trust ac­count of his for­mer at­tor­ney, Robert Klinken­berg, who had al­legedly com­mit­ted sui­cide due to a short­fall of mil­lions in his trust ac­count.

The court on sev­eral oc­ca­sions ordered that Joost should get his money, de­spite ap­peal at­tempts by the fund. It took Joost sev­eral months be­fore he was able to se­cure this money, which is be­lieved to form part of the trust.

The chil­dren will ben­e­fit from the trust once they are of age


IN­HER­I­TANCE: Joost van der Westhuizen at the launch of the SA Rugby Mu­seum at the V&A Wa­ter­front in Cape Town in 2013.

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