Mandela daughter in court battle over child
On Good Friday‚ the Pretoria High Court granted an order forcing one of former president Nelson Mandela’s children to allow a seven-year-old boy to spend the Easter Holidays with his biological mother.
The mother‚ who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child‚ applied for an urgent interdict on Friday afternoon.
The mother had accused Mandela of breaching a verbal agreement to allow her access to the child when Mandela visits the country.
The Sandton mother said part of the agreement she had with Mandela‚ who had taken up a post overseas‚ was that she would allow her to communicate with the child and give the child time to be with the mother when she visited the country. But she was shocked and surprised to see the child playing outside the Mandela house in Sandton.
“The child told the mother they have been in South Africa over a period of two weeks. Before the child could say anything else‚ bodyguards took her and didn’t allow the mother access to the house. She called the said Mandela several times‚ left numerous messages and e-mails but she didn’t respond to any of the communications‚” said lawyer Buthane Raseman‚ who was representing the mother on Friday.
Part of the court order granted on Friday was that Mandela would not only give the biological mother visitation rights over the Easter holidays but must also allow the child telephone‚ electronic or other reasonable contacts while the child is in her care overseas.
According to Stephen Thompson‚ who was representing Mandela‚ there was no reason at all for a court interdict as his clients has tried several times to contact the biological mother.
“My client was shocked when she suddenly saw a lawyer’s letter demanding the release of the child. She even replied that she can come and fetch the child the following day at 9am but she never pitched. My client had never refused the biological mother access to the child. Instead she is the one who was not reachable on the phone all the time my client was trying to get hold of her. We’re not sure what the motive of the application was‚” said Thompson.