The Star Early Edition

Win­nie bat­tles on for Qunu

She has filed pa­pers in the SCA to re­view rul­ing

- BON­GANI NKOSI Law · Winnie Madikizela-Mandela · Qunu, Eastern Cape · Nelson Mandela · Eastern Cape · U.S. Supreme Court · Mandla Mandela · George VI of the United Kingdom · Yes · Dikgang Moseneke

THE BAT­TLE for Nel­son Man­dela’s Qunu, East­ern Cape, home­stead is far from over, with his ex-wife Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela set to take the fight over the own­er­ship of his ru­ral home to the Supreme Court of Ap­peal on Novem­ber 20.

Madik­izela-Man­dela has filed pa­pers in the SCA, ar­gu­ing that a court erred in rul­ing that she could have rea­son­ably known from 1997 that the prop­erty was reg­is­tered in Madiba’s name.

The head of the Man­dela clan, Chief Mandla Man­dela, yesterday threw his sup­port be­hind the ex­ecu­tors of Madiba’s es­tate, who are ex­pected to op­pose Madik­izela-Man­dela’s at­tempt to take over Qunu – the place where Man­dela is buried.

The ex­ecu­tors of the Man­dela es­tate are pri­mary re­spon­dents in the lit­i­ga­tion.

“The mat­ter is sim­ple… As you know, the ex­ecu­tors of the es­tate are ad­vo­cate Ge­orge Bi­zos, re­tired judge Dik­gang Moseneke and Judge Themba San­goni. As the fam­ily, we be­lieve the mat­ter is in re­li­able hands,” Mandla told The Star yesterday.

Bi­zos, who is one of the ex­ecu­tors of Man­dela’s will, last year slammed Madik­izela-Man­dela for seek­ing the rights to his home at Qunu.

He said they would op­pose her claim as she did noth­ing for 17 years af­ter the prop­erty was reg­is­tered in Man­dela’s name.

“The will did not pro­vide in any way for her; she must be dis­ap­pointed… Their di­vorce was le­gal,” he said at the time.

How­ever, in the fresh court ap­pli­ca­tion, Madik­izela-Man­dela’s heads of ar­gu­ment largely take aim at the judg­ment by the full bench of the Mthatha High Court, de­liv­ered in April last year, which dis­missed her ap­pli­ca­tion to re­view the reg­is­tra­tion of the prop­erty un­der Man­dela.

She ar­gued at the time that the prop­erty be­longed to her, and not Madiba.

In his will, the late pres­i­dent be­queathed the Qunu prop­erty and its mov­able as­sets to his fam­ily and his wife Graça Machel, as well as her two chil­dren Malen­gane Machel and Josina Machel.

How­ever, Madik­izela-Man­dela dis­puted this, in­sist­ing the prop­erty was built on a site al­lo­cated to her in 1989. Her af­fi­davit said there was a “wealth of ev­i­dence” and eye­wit­nesses to at­test that the land be­longed to her.

Madik­izela-Man­dela is now ap­peal­ing the dis­missal of her re­view ap­pli­ca­tion in the SCA. She main­tains the Mthatha High Court erred in rul­ing against her on the grounds that she brought her ap­pli­ca­tion 17 years af­ter the reg­is­tra­tion of the home.

Madik­izela-Man­dela had dragged the ex­ecu­tors of Man­dela’s es­tate to court in the mat­ter. In its rul­ing, the bench said: “Should the de­lay be con­doned? The pe­riod of the de­lay was ex­ces­sive and not sat­is­fac­to­rily ex­plained…

“Be­cause of the de­lay, they were un­able to present the ev­i­dence of a ma­te­rial wit­ness, namely Mr Man­dela. At no time dur­ing the life­time of Mr Man­dela did Mrs Man­dela lay claim to the prop­erty.”

In her new af­fi­davit sub­mit­ted to the SCA, Madik­izela-Man­dela hits back, main­tain­ing that she could not have known over the years that Man­dela, who di­vorced her in 1996, had reg­is­tered the prop­erty in his name.

“There are more than 600 house­holds at Qunu and none have a deed of grant or ti­tle deed,” said her pa­pers.

“There was nei­ther pub­li­ca­tion nor gazetting done prior to the reg­is­tra­tion of the deed of grant in favour of the late Man­dela.”

The pa­pers add that she had “no rea­son to be­lieve that there was an at­tempt afoot to strip her of the land al­lo­cated to her” by Qunu chiefs.

“Even af­ter the civil di­vorce, Mrs Man­dela con­tin­ued to treat Qunu as her home. She per­forms rit­u­als and tra­di­tions for her chil­dren and her grand­chil­dren at the home.

“There was never any sug­ges­tion that own­er­ship of the Qunu prop- erty had changed or that she was no longer wel­come at Qunu,” the 56-page af­fi­davit stated.

Yesterday, Bi­zos said the ex­ecu- tors would op­pose Madik­izela-Man- dela’s ap­peal ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Yes, we’re op­pos­ing (it)… The court al­ready knows about this (in­ten­tion).”

Man­dela died on De­cem­ber 5, 2013 and Madik­izela-Man­dela main­tains that she found out only on July 18, 2014 that the prop­erty was reg­is­tered in Man­dela’s name and that it was part of his will.

The house on the site was built by Man­dela be­tween 1993 and 1995. It is a replica of the house he oc­cu­pied at Vic­tor Ver­ster Prison in Paarl in the West­ern Cape.

Ex­ecu­tors of Man­dela’s will are to op­pose her bid

 ?? PIC­TURE: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / POOL PHOTO VIA AP AND BON­GANI MBATHA ?? WON’T GIVE UP: In this 2013 photo, Win­nie Madik­ize­laMan­dela, left, Nel­son Man­dela’s for­mer wife, and his widow Graça Machel watch as his cof­fin ar­rives at Mthatha Air­port. A court ruled in 2016 that Madik­ize­laMan­dela had no rights to his ru­ral home,...
PIC­TURE: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / POOL PHOTO VIA AP AND BON­GANI MBATHA WON’T GIVE UP: In this 2013 photo, Win­nie Madik­ize­laMan­dela, left, Nel­son Man­dela’s for­mer wife, and his widow Graça Machel watch as his cof­fin ar­rives at Mthatha Air­port. A court ruled in 2016 that Madik­ize­laMan­dela had no rights to his ru­ral home,...
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