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Court battle looms over Madiba's handprints

Madiba's children and high-profile South Africans will head to court over the R15m sale of his handprints.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela. Picture: AFP/ CLINTON FOUNDATION/ BARBARA KINNEY

JOHANNESBURG - A court battle is looming between the children of former President Nelson Mandela and a group of high-profile South Africans over the proceeds of Madiba's handprints.

The Star newspaper is reporting that the former statesman's family on Tuesday launched an application in the South Gauteng High Court to have advocate George Bizos, businessman Tokyo Sexwale and lawyer Bally Chuene removed as directors from two companies.

At the centre of the dispute is the R15 million in proceeds from the sale of Madiba's handprints which the two companies are meant to channel into their accounts for use by him and his family.

There's has been controversy about who has the right to sell the prints.

According to The Star newspaper Madiba's children claim their father never appointed Bizos, Sexwale and Chuene as major shareholders or directors of the two companies that handle the sales.

Bizos has denied allegations that the trio have failed to carry out their duties.

He accused Mandela's daughters Zenani and Makaziwe of wanting to lay their hands on the companies' money.

Meanwhile, the former President spent the weekend at home after being discharged from hospital.

The 94-year-old was admitted to an undisclosed Pretoria hospital with pneumonia nine days ago.

Earlier last month the former statesman spent another two weeks in hospital for a routine check-up.

The Presidency said Madiba has been responding well to treatment and will continue to receive medical care at home.