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Mandela family feud drags on

Publish date: 10 June 2024
Issue Number: 1080
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, the daughter of political icons Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has failed to file an answering affidavit explaining why she should be the sole executor of her mother’s estate. City Press reported previously how Mandela-Dlamini is litigating with her sister Zindzi’s children – led by her nephew Zondwa Mandela and his siblings. The siblings are accusing their aunt of undermining them as the rightful co-executors of their grandmother’s estate since their mother Zindzi died and claimed she was hiding some of her assets. In January, Zondwa applied for an interdict in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg), seeking to halt the process of placing the estate under the sole control of Mandela-Dlamini at the Master of the High Court. She was supposed to file an answering affidavit within 16 days of Zondwa’s application. City Press says it has established that the lawyers representing Zondwa opted to apply for a date on the unopposed court roll on 24 May at the same court in an attempt to finalise the matter. Again Mandela-Dlamini failed to respond. Madikizela-Mandela passed away on 2 April 2018 and in her will she appointed her daughters Zenani and Zindzi as the executors of her estate. However, Zindzi passed away in July 2020. Since January, her sons Zondwa and Zwelabo Mandela have been in a legal process as they want to be involved in the decision-making over their grandmother’s estate. Since their mother died, they are now the heirs to her 50% share of Madikizela-Mandela’s estate.

The application came after Mandela-Dlamini’s lawyer, cited as Zayd Ayob, failed to file answering papers within the stipulated 16 days. A statement by the Sheriff of the Court, identified as AT Esterhuizen, confirmed that Mandela-Dlamini’s representatives were served with Zondwa’s court papers. Zondwa made the claims in court documents that Mandela-Dlamini was hiding some of the assets and undermining him as the co-executor of their grandmother’s estate, following his mother’s passing. An email exchange between the two sisters dated 20 June 2020, seen by City Press, paints a picture of a standing feud between Mandela-Dlamini and Zindzi. Zindzi, in an email to her older sister, asked her about Madikizela-Mandela’s weddings ring and a television set among assets she alleged were in Mandela-Dlamini’s possession or she knew of their whereabouts.

Full City Press report

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