Mthatha High Court reserves judgement in Winnie's bid to take Mandela's Qunu home

MARCH 2, 2016

The Mthatha High Court reserved judgment on Tuesday in Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's challenge to her ex-husband former president Nelson Mandela's estate. Madikizela-Mandela is seeking the rights to Mandela's home in Qunu, near Mthatha.

According to Daily Sun reporter Yanga Soji, lawyers for the three executors of Mandela's will dominated arguments in court.

The three executors opposing Madikizela-Mandela's bid are Human Rights advocate George Bizos, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and Eastern Cape Judge President Themba Sangoni.

One of the lawyers arguing against Madikizela-Mandela apparently compared her application to a boxer. "If this was a boxing match, we'd say the applicant is punching above the weight," the lawyer reportedly said.

Soji tweeted that advocate Vincent Maleka reportedly argued that Mandela spent R4m on improvements to the Qunu property. 

He argued that Madikizela-Mandela knew of the ownership of the land by Mandela 17 years earlier. 

Soji said Maleka told the high court that the two had married in community of property.

"At the time civil marriage trumped customary marriage," Maleka reportedly said.  

Maleka said Nelson Mandela never asked for the lobola he paid to the Madikizela family to be given back. 

Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer, Mvuzo Notyesi, reportedly wrote to Moseneke two years ago.

In the letter, Notyesi argued that AbaThembu custom dictated that the rights to the property should go to Madikizela-Mandela and her descendants.

This was applicable irrespective of whether the wife was divorced or not, Notyesi wrote.

"It is only in this home that the children and grandchildren of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela can conduct their own customs and tradition."

Some AbaThembu leaders had argued that Madikizela-Mandela should have first approached the clan's elders before laying claim to the estate.

----News24wire

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/judgment-reserved-in-winnies-qunu-case-20160301