Millionaire Mbuso Mandela joins deadbeat dads

He inherited R3.1m but won't support his child

23 September 2018 - 00:00 By KATHARINE CHILD

For the past three years, Gugu Keswa has been desperately trying to get her five-year-old daughter's father to pay maintenance.
The dad claims he is unemployed and has no money.
While this reason is not unusual among deadbeat dads at maintenance courts, it has raised eyebrows in this particular case - because the dad in question is Nelson Mandela's grandson.
Mbuso Mandela, 27, is the son of Magkatho Mandela, who was born to Mandela and his first wife Evelyn Mase. Magkatho, who died in 2005, had four sons, Mandla, Ndaba, Mbuso and Andile.
In 2016 the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced the beneficiaries of Mandela's will, confirming that Mbuso had inherited R3.1m from his grandfather.
Despite this, he has managed to evade responsibility, despite a paternity test confirming he is the child's biological father.
A frustrated Keswa said she has attended "about 200" hearings at the maintenance court in Newtown, Johannesburg, since 2015. But she has now hit a brick wall.
Mbuso told the court he can't pay as he is unemployed and studying.
"The court never did ask for proof of his studies. They just left it as it was," Keswa said.
"I am raising a direct dependant of Mandela with little support. If Mandela was alive today my child would be taken care of … [because] he loved family."
Keswa, who runs a small event-planning business and says she struggles to put food on the table and buy clothes for her daughter, said of Mbuso: "He wakes up every morning in a mansion."
Last year, the child's school fees were in arrears and the child was asked to stay at home. The Nelson Mandela Trust then stepped in and paid. It also paid this year's fees of R23,500.
However, in an e-mail seen by the Sunday Times, sent in September last year, the trust's attorney, Wim Trengove SC, says Keswa cannot rely on the trust to pay every year.
"It is uncertain how long the trust will exist. We can accordingly not make any future commitments," says the e-mail.
Trengove said the mother had no claim against the trust, but it had nevertheless decided to pay her daughter's school fees.
Keswa was last in the maintenance court at the end of last year, when she says the maintenance officer told her she should approach a civil court to sue the trust for maintenance.
She had no money so approached Legal Aid SA, which told her she should find out if the child's grandfather had a trust she could claim from. But she said she has no idea how to find out if Magkatho Mandela left money in a trust and she has now given up.
Mbuso, who did not respond to calls and messages this week, is no stranger to controversy. He was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl at a bar in 2015 but the charges were dropped a year later. He reportedly has two other children with two other women.
Last year he was arrested for failing to appear in the maintenance court after being subpoenaed, and spent two weeks in jail.
Experts say Keswa's case is typical. The department of justice & correctional services' 2016/2017 annual report said 145,997 maintenance cases were filed, of which about 100,000 remained unresolved.
Lawyer Wendy Sharbel-Fahry said respondents were often "experts at manipulating the system" to avoid paying maintenance.
Department of justice spokesperson Stephen Mahlangu said: "A person cannot just say they are unemployed. Such a submission will be investigated."..

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