Mandela family’s ‘bitter’ fight over leadership, money

Mandela family’s ‘bitter’ fight over leadership, money

Who would have thought that Nelson Mandela’s children and grand children will tear each other apart for leadership succession and his money and houses? Well, they are and it is a ‘bitter’ fight – just like lions fighting with hyenas over a dead piece of meat.

The whole of South Africa, as well as the international community, is watching and outraged by these gold-diggers who were anxiously waiting for the champion of freedom to be laid to rest before starting an open family feud. Local newspapers are full of these stories, revealing more sad episodes each passing day.

First of all, there is the issue of who will be the family leader now that the giant has fallen.  On one side, there is Makaziwe Mandela, the late freedom hero’s eldest daughter, born from his first wife Evelyn Mandela (dead).

Makaziwe is married to Isaac Amuah, a Ghanaian.

Normally, Africa’s tradition says that she is the one who will be in charge of the family after the dad passes away. But Mandela’s grand son, the young Mandla Mandela,  fiercely opposes this ‘God-given’ succession, saying he is the one who should be the leader because his chieftaincy gives him the right to do so.

And the traditional chiefs of the Aba-Thembu clan fully support him – allegedly in return for ‘something’ – to get this ‘post’.

Mandla is a controversial figure. Media reports alleged in the past that he sold his grand father’s funeral rights for US$300 000 to the national broadcaster, SABC, while he laid agonising in hospital bed.

But as things stand, Makaziwe is already the boss of the family, to the dismay of the little Mandla and his crowd of supporters, the traditional chiefs. The fight is on and is reckless.

Then, there is a the dead man’s estate! Money, houses and other valuables he left behind.

Johannesburg-based City Press newspaper reported on Sunday that the Mandela’s family have kicked out his widow, Graça Machel, from the Houghton luxury house (in Johannesburg) she shared with her late husband.

Mozambique-born Machel is the only woman in the world to have married two heads of state.  His first husband, Mozambique President Samora Machel, was killed in a plane crash in 1986 over the skies of South Africa, allegedly in a plot remote-controlled by the apartheid regime because of his close links with the then outlawed ANC.

But Machel, who married Mandela in 1998, has (since his death) endured rejection and abuse from some members of the sprawling Mandela dynasty, the Media24-owned Sunday paper reported, adding that she was told by members of the Mandela family that she should leave the Houghton home as soon as Madiba died.

“There was a massive row in the weeks before his death between Machel and grandson Ndaba in which household members had to intervene,” the article, penned by Debora Patta, claimed.

Makaziwe often refuses to speak to Machel, and she has verbally abused staff and repeatedly insisted she alone will determine how to divide the spoils of Mandela’s estate, City Press said.

Mandela might be turning in his grave! Watch this space!

Photo: Makaziwe Mandela (c) flanked by her husband, Ghana-born Isaac Amuah and Mandela’s widow Graça Machel. Credit: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

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