JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The family of Nelson Mandela sought on Thursday to present a united front in a dispute with longtime associates of the former South African president over control of two companies.
In a statement, all but one of Mandela’s grandchildren said the associates, including lawyer George Bizos and Tokyo Sexwale, a businessman and Cabinet minister, have tried to portray the Mandela family as “insensitive money-grabbers” with no respect for the legacy of the anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
“Most of us are gainfully employed, work for our own companies and run our own projects,” said the statement, which did not identify any of the grandchildren by name.
Mandela has 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, according to the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, a foundation based in Johannesburg. They include granddaughter Tukwini Mandela, marketing director of a winemaking company that carries the Mandela name, and two other granddaughters who are starring in a U.S. television reality show titled “Being Mandela.”
The statement was approved by all the grandchildren except Mandla Mandela, a tribal chief in the Mvezo area of Eastern Cape province, where Nelson Mandela grew up. South African media have quoted Mandla Mandela as saying he wants to distance himself from the dispute.
Two daughters of 94-year-old Mandela, who was an iconic fighter against racist white rule, have opened a court case against Bizos and associates, saying they should not remain directors of two companies whose proceeds are supposed to benefit the Mandela family.
Bizos, a human rights advocate, says he is a longtime supporter of the Mandela family and that he got involved in the companies on Mandela’s instructions. He helped to defend Mandela during the 1960s trial that led to the African National Congress figure’s conviction on sabotage charges and a sentence of life imprisonment.
The main purpose of the firms, Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings, is to channel funds from the sale of handprint artwork by Mandela for the benefit of his family.
Norton Rose, the law firm representing Bizos, says his position will be laid out in court papers likely to be filed in mid-May.
Mandela has withdrawn from public life, and is currently receiving medical care at his home in Johannesburg after several hospital visits in recent months. He was discharged from a hospital in Pretoria earlier this month after treatment for pneumonia.
The statement from the Mandela grandchildren said “our mothers, aunts and lawyer have our full support.”
It said the court action by Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, daughters of Nelson Mandela, is not about “money and exploitation of the Mandela name.”
The goal of the legal action is to safeguard the interests of beneficiaries and shareholders, in line with a trust set up by Mandela to provide for his family, the statement said.
The Star newspaper has quoted Bizos as saying Makaziwe Mandela’s goal is to take some company money, estimated to be $1.3 million, without providing details of how it would be used.
“That is contrary to the provisions of the trust. Therefore we refused to give her the money,” The Star quoted him as saying.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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