Nelson Mandela’s (pictured below left) second wife, Winnie Madikizela Mandela (pictured above) has reportedly legally challenged the will of the late South African president and anti-apartheid activist, contending she and her descendants should have ownership of the family’s ancestral home in Qunu on the Eastern Cape where he was buried last December, according to the Daily Mail.
The now 77-year-old woman, who was once given the title “Mother of the Nation,” was married to Mandela throughout his entire 27-year imprisonment for his ideologies surrounding apartheid. Winnie, too, was placed behind bars for 18-months in solitary confinement in a South African prison by authorities who wanted to suppress her political dynamism.
According to Winnie, she and Mandela bought the property in question back in 1989 while he was still behind bars on Robben Island, giving her ownership rights under traditional law. It is believed that Mandela left the home to his family trust and to third wife Graca Machel in 1998. There were rumors that attempts were made to block Machel from claiming any rights to the Qunu estate. Winnie’s lawyer, Mvuzo Notyesi, argues that the Qunu home should be given to Zindzi and Zenani, Mandela and Winnie’s daughters, and their children, states the Daily Mail.
After Mandela’s will was read last February, it was reportedly discovered that Winnie, his wife of 38 years, was not left a cent. Mandela allegedly carved up his estate leaving money to his children, grandchildren, staff and the African National Congress.
Mandela also allegedly wrote in his will that: “The Qunu property should be used by my family in perpetuity in order to preserve the unity of the Mandela family.”
Meanwhile, ever since Mandela’s death, there have been reports of public rows over his estate involving family members. Last year, two of Mandela’s daughters, Makaziwe and Zenani, went to court to dispute control over the millions contained in one of the trusts but eventually dropped the action.