‘Bitter’ family feud has Mandela family riven: Report

July 27th, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, July 27 (DPA) Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s national hero and anti-Apartheid fighter, has a dispute with his own family. Johannesburg’s The Sunday Times reported Sunday on its front page about a “bitter” feud which is dividing the family of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The dispute even led his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and their two daughters Zindzi and Zenani to boycott the huge 90th birthday party held for Mandela last weekend at his homestead in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

They stayed away from the party despite personal pleas from Mandela, said the paper.

The Sunday Times said it had obtained a copy of a letter written by the two daughters, in which they announced that neither they nor their children - Mandela’s grandchildren - would attend because they were angry that they were not properly consulted.

Among others, they were upset that the birthday party was not more intimate for family members only and that 500 guests had been invited.

Background for the arguments within the family is also Mandela’s proposed division of his estate and funeral arrangements after his death, the paper said.

Mandela had convened a family meeting about the matter of his estate and funeral arrangements at his farm in Limpopo, but had to call it off because of the differences, The Sunday Times quoted “someone familiar with the matter” as saying.

He had suggested that a large chunk of his estate be awarded to his foundation and that his third wife, Graca Machel, and his favourite grandson Chief Mandla Mandela would also get a portion. The rest would be shared among his children.

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