BREAKING NEWS: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela loses claim to Qunu house
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's claim for the late statesman Nelson Mandela's Qunu home has been dismissed by the Mthatha High Court. She was also seeking an order to set aside a decision by then minister of land affairs Derek Hanekom on November 16 1997 to donate land to Mandela who was state president at the time.In their heads of argument‚ her lawyers argued that Hanekom should have sought the approval of the Thembu community and Madikizela-Mandela beforehand.They said Mandela did not have the power to dispose of the land.Winnie says Qunu home is still hersMthatha Deputy Judge President Zamani Nhlangulela took only a few minutes to read out the conclusion of his judgment on Thursday morning.After dismissing Madikizela-Mandela’s application‚ he ordered her to pay the legal costs of the Mandela estate’s executors and the former Land Affairs Minister Derek Hanekom‚ who were respondents in the case.Madikizela-Mandela went to court to fight the will of the former state president‚ who died on 5 December 2013.In his will‚ Mandela bequeathed the Qunu property in the Eastern Cape to the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust for the benefit of the Mandela family‚ including his third wife Graca Machel and her children.Winnie Mandela did nothing about Qunu home for 17 years: BizosBut Madikizela-Mandela claimed he did not have the power to dispose of the property. She said the property had been given to her by the tribal authority while Mandela was still in prison and that she had not anticipated that that land would be given to Machel.She also claimed that while her civil union with her former husband was dissolved by divorce‚ the customary marriage which took place in 1958 by payment of lobola to her family‚ was never dissolved.She argued that she had rights to the property as Mandela’s wife because their customary marriage still existed."[I]n the absence of an order dissolving our customary marriage‚ that marriage still subsisted at the time of Mr Mandela's death. On this basis‚ the disposal under Mr Mandela's will [is] invalid‚" Madikizela-Mandela said in her court papers.Replying to her claim in their court papers‚ the executors of Mandela's estate argued that the civil marriage "overrode" the customary marriage.Madikizela-Mandela also sought an order from the court to set aside a decision made by then Minister of Land Affairs Derek Hanekom on November 16 1997 to donate land to Mandela‚ who was president at the time. Hanekom is currently serving as minister of tourism..Her lawyers argued that Hanekom should have sought the approval of the Thembu community and Madikizela-Mandela before donating the land.