At­tor­ney not cowed as auc­tion fails

No one shows up at sale of cat­tle to pay le­gal fees owed by Mandla Man­dela

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - FA­TIMA SCHROEDER

DE­SPITE the hype sur­round­ing yes­ter­day’s sched­uled auc­tion of Mandla Man­dela’s cat­tle, and an 11th-hour court bid to halt the sale, not a sin­gle cow was sold.

Ac­cord­ing to at­tor­ney Ran­dall Ti­tus, who was hop­ing the auc­tion would help him re­cover the bulk of the R500 000 in le­gal fees which Man­dela owes him, no one turned up – not even out of cu­rios­ity.

The auc­tion was sched­uled to take place at the Great Place, Mveso, in East­ern Cape, af­ter Ti­tus ob­tained a judg­ment against Man­dela in Septem­ber.

Man­dela owes Ti­tus just over R460 000 in le­gal fees af­ter the at­tor­ney as­sisted him with his pend­ing di­vorce and other, smaller, mat­ters.

Man­dela failed to pay up, how­ever, and the bill climbed to more than R500 000 af­ter in­ter­est was added.

Ti­tus took Mandla, his for­mer client, to court over the out­stand­ing fees and, on Septem­ber 12, the court granted judg­ment in Ti­tus’s favour.

Still the bill was not paid, prompt­ing Ti­tus to take fur­ther steps that led to the sale in ex­e­cu­tion of 50 of Man­dela’s cat­tle be­ing ad­ver­tised in an East­ern Cape news­pa­per.

At an es­ti­mated R7 000 per head of cat­tle, the pro­posed sale in ex­e­cu­tion could have net­ted around R350 000.

Al­though there was some ini­tial talk of the sale be­ing halted, ev­ery­thing was in place by late af­ter­noon on Thurs­day.

The auc­tion was sched­uled to take place at 10am yes­ter­day.

How­ever, mat­ters hit a snag when the High Court in Mthatha re­ceived an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion to have the sale stayed and the auc­tion could not go ahead at 10am.

Ti­tus said Man­dela’s ap­pli­ca­tion was un­suc­cess­ful.

How­ever, al­though all hur­dles were fi­nally cleared, Ti­tus’s hopes of re­cov­er­ing a large por­tion of his money weren’t look­ing good, as there was not a bid­der in sight.

No one even at­tended to watch the pro­ceed­ings, a puz­zled Ti­tus said.

But that doesn’t mean Man- dela’s debt woes are any­where near over.

Asked what the next step was, Ti­tus said he was con­sid­er­ing his op­tions but would def­i­nitely take fur­ther steps to re­cover the money.

While he said he had been in­formed Man­dela did not have any other as­sets which could be sold in ex­e­cu­tion, he would not elab­o­rate on what op­tions he was con­sid­er­ing.

Man­dela did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment yes­ter­day.

Man­dela found him­self in the spot­light ear­lier this month when the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity an­nounced it would not pur­sue charges of bigamy and grave-tam­per­ing against him, on the ba­sis of in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

This came af­ter 16 mem­bers of the Man­dela fam­ily laid charges against Man­dela in July, af­ter he ad­mit­ted to ex­hum­ing sev­eral graves two years ago.

The graves were those of Nel­son Man­dela’s el­dest son, Madiba Them­bek­ile, who died in a car ac­ci­dent in 1969; Mandla Man­dela’s fa­ther, Makgatho Man­dela, who died in 2005 and Nel­son Man­dela’s first-born daugh­ter, Makaziwe Man­dela, who died as an in­fant in 1948.

The bigamy charge stemmed from al­le­ga­tions which arose in De­cem­ber 2011, when the Mvezo chief ’s first wife, Thando Mabuna- Man­dela, laid a com­plaint against Man­dela.

She claimed he had de­fied a court or­der not to marry Pi­eter­mar­itzburg woman Mbali Makhathini.

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