Attorney not cowed as auction fails
No one shows up at sale of cattle to pay legal fees owed by Mandla Mandela
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.