Royal house of Mandela welcomes ruling on Madiba’s Qunu home

A judge said Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s application was dismissed and she has to pay costs.

FILE: ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Royal House of Mandela has welcomed today's court ruling dismissing Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's application for ownership of former President Nelson Mandela's Qunu home in the Eastern Cape.

The judge at the Mthatha High Court took less than a minute to read out the judgment this morning, saying the application was dismissed and Madikizela-Mandela has to pay costs.

Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer had argued that abaThembu custom dictated that the rights to the property should go to her and her descendants irrespective of whether she was divorced or not.

She has been fighting for the Qunu property after it was revealed in Mandela's will that he bequeathed the home to his family trust on behalf of his widow Graca Machel, her children and the rest of the Mandela family.

It's understood that according to Madikizela-Mandela, the property was given to her by the tribal authority, while Mandela was still in prison.

Her lawyers used customary law arguments saying because lobola had not been returned to Mandela after they divorced, they were still married according to culture.

This argument was opposed by executors of the estate, human rights lawyer George Bizos, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and Eastern Cape Judge President Themba Sangoni as well as the Royal Mandela family.

It's unclear if Madikizela-Mandela will appeal the judgement.