Tag Archives: African women

Mandela’s will leaves money for family and staff but nothing for Winnie

4 Feb

mandela1_2603614b (2) So rang the headlines of various newspapers around the world in response to the public disclosure of Nelson Mandela’s will.

The question is should he have included his ex-wife Winnie at all in his will?

We’ve heard arguments from both sides of the aisle, some readers feel she helped build the Mandela brand and is therefore entitled to something but others point out that ex-wives are rarely ever beneficiaries of ex-husbands’ wills.
We’re holding our thoughts on this one and opening it up for wider discussion. For those needing to get up to speed, here’s a quick summary of Mandela’s will.*

The estate was valued at 46 million Rand (excluding royalties) with Justice Moseneke, Judge President of the Eastern Cape Themba Sangoni and prominent human rights lawyer George Bizos named as executors.

Moseneke, summarising what he said was a 40-page document said the will was put together on 12 October 2004 with final amendments made in 2008.

The will provided bequests to his children and grandchildren from each of his three wives, Ms. Graca Machel and former wives, Mrs. Winnie Madikizela Mandela and Mrs. Evelyn Mandela who passed away in 2004. President Mandela and Ms. Graca Machel were married in community of property and therefore she is entitled to half of his estate. According to Moseneke, although Ms. Graca Machel has 90 days to contest the will, she agreed to waive all claim to Mandela’s estate. The mood of Mandela family when the will was read privately, prior to the press conference, was described by Moseneke as “charged with emotions but it went well and… there were clarifications sought from time to time.”

Bequests of 50,000 Rand were made to various staff members including Zelda Le Grange, Mandela’s long time former private secretary. Mandela bequeathed 1,5 million Rand to the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust and left royalties to the trust of which a percentage (10% minimum and 30% maximum) would be given to the African National Congress. Moseneke noted that the 46 million Rand valuation of Mandela’s estate was subject to final verification and excluded royalties.

Mandela donated 100,000 Rand for scholarships to four educational institutions which he attended; Clarke Institution in Transkei, Hilltown Institution, University of Fort Hare and University of the Witwatersrand. He also donated 100,000 Rand to Qunu Secondary School in his childhood hometown and Orlando West High School in Soweto where he once lived.


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*Forbes