Former South African president Nelson Mandela’s estate, worth about US$4.1 million, will be shared between his family, members of his staff, schools that he attended and the African National Congress (ANC), the movement that fought white rule and now governs South Africa, the will’s executors said on Monday.
Mandela’s third wife, Graca Machel, is the main beneficiary of the will because their marriage was “in community of property” and she therefore has the right to half his estate, as long as she claims it within 90 days, said executor Dikgang Moseneke, who is also deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court.
Graca Machel’s first husband, former Mozambican president Samora Machel, died in a plane crash in 1986.
Mandela’s second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was not mentioned in the will. The couple divorced in 1996.
Moseneke said he is not aware of any challenges to the provisions of the will. Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president, died on Dec. 5 last year aged 95.
Moseneke outlined a “provisional inventory” of 46 million rand (US$4.1 million), but said the amount could change as the will is studied more carefully.
The document was drawn up in 2004, and was amended in 2005 and 2008. Two other executors are George Bizos, a human rights lawyer and longtime friend of Mandela, and Themba Sangoni, a chief judge from Eastern Cape Province, Mandela’s birthplace.
The will was read in its entirety on Monday to members of Mandela’s family.
“It went well,” Moseneke said at a news conference. “There were clarifications sought from time to time.”
Last year, while Mandela’s health was in decline, his family was involved in a number of high-profile disputes.
Some members sought to dislodge Bizos and other directors of two companies whose proceeds are supposed to benefit the Mandela family.
Separately, Mandla Mandela, a grandson of the anti-apartheid leader, fell out with family members because he had moved the remains of the patriarch’s three deceased children to a different grave site.
A court order forced him to return the remains to Qunu, where Nelson Mandela grew up and where he was buried on Dec. 15 last year.
In the will, Mandela said he had already given US$300,000 to his three surviving children. He bequeathed amounts to his grandchildren ranging from US$9,000 to US$300,000, and the beneficiaries include Graca Machel’s two children with Samora Machel.
Mandela gave US$4,500 each to nine staff members, including Xoliswa Ndoyiya, his cook.
“It shows me that he has been respecting me and he loved me for who I am,” Ndoyiya said at a press conference where the will was made public. “I am one of these people who served him for many years.”
Mandela instructed one of three trusts that carry his name to consider paying between 10 percent and 30 percent of royalties to the ANC to record or disseminate information on the party’s policies, including reconciliation.
He left funds for scholarships and bursaries to the secondary school in Qunu, the University of Fort Hare, the University of the Witwatersrand — where Mandela studied in the 1940s — and Soweto’s Orlando West high school, whose students and teachers played a prominent role in the fight against white rule.
A trust will administer Mandela’s Johannesburg home, which became a shrine during the last months of his life as well-wishers gathered outside its walls.
Mandela said in his will that he hoped several of his grandchildren would live there, and that the house would “also serve as a place of gathering of the Mandela and Machel family in order to maintain its unity long after my death.”
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