Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, August 8, 2014

Battle Over Nelson Mandela's Estate

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie has sprung legal action against the former South African leader’s will, arguing she is entitled to the country home where he is buried.  Winnie Mandela, now 77, divorced the anti-apartheid activist in 1996, and is demanding ownership of Mr. Mandela’s ancestral home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.  Ms. Mandela claims she bought the property in 1989, while her husband was imprisoned in Robben Island, giving her ownership rights under the law. 

It is alleged that Mr. Mandela left the home to his family trust and third wife Graca, who he married in 1998.  It was subsequently revealed that Winnie Mandela was left nothing from her former husband’s £2.4 million estate.  Mr. Mandela’s homes throughout South Africa were left to the family trust with instruction on who could live in each property.  Each of his six children and some of his 17 grandchildren received almost £180,000. 

See Jennifer Newton, Battle Over Nelson Mandela’s Will As Ex-Wife Winnie Demands the Country Home He Left to Third Wife In Legal Move Which Threatens to Split ANC Leader’s Family, Mail Online, Aug. 5, 2014.  


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