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Family feuds could stall settlement of Mandela’s estate

Winnie Madikizela Mandela and Graça Machel

Winnie Madikizela Mandela and Graça Machel

(GIN) — A last will and testament by former Pres. Nelson Mandela published Feb. 3 offered some unpleasant surprises for children of the national leader and especially for his second wife, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, who was not listed among the beneficiaries. Madikizela Mandela,  was married to Mandela for38 years during the struggle against racial apartheid. They divorced in 1996 but became close again toward the end of his life and, along with his third wife, Graça Machel, she was at his bedside when he died.

The family of South Africa’s first Black president, who died two months ago at 95, met this week behind closed doors at his foundation in Johannesburg to hear the reading of the will, which divides up an estate estimated at $4.1 million.

Mandela married three times and his numerous children and grandchildren have frequently clashed over who leads the family and who should benefit from his lucrative “brand.” Last year, two of his daughters went to court to dispute control over the millions contained in one of the trusts but eventually dropped the action.

Winnie’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren with Mandela were all left generous sums, although the money for Bambatha, Zondwa, Zwelabo and Zoleka Mandela has to be paid to Machel to be paid out at her discretion.

Machel will inherit the cars, the jewelry in her possession and the works of art of her choosing at the Houghton home she had shared with Mandela. Machel’s children from her former marriage to the late Mozambican president Samora Machel — Josina and Malengane — and six of Samora Machel’s children from his previous marriage are also beneficiaries.

Madiba also made a bequest to all the schools he had attended in his lifetime, as well as to the Qunu Secondary School and to Orlando West High School for the “role its pupils and teachers played in the struggle for liberation.”

The home in Houghton, Johannesburg, where Mandela died on Dec. 5 will be used by children of his late son Makgatho. “It is my wish that it should also serve as a place of gathering of the Mandela family in order to maintain its unity long after my death.”

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