He was a celebrated symbol of peace and democracy the world over.
But in the last years of his life, Nelson Mandela’s own family has been at war, bickering between themselves over his many millions.
And in the wake of the anti-apartheid leader’s death at 95 today, it is feared his surviving family will be plunged in to deep rifts over who stands to gain his fortune.
Mandela was married three times and fathered six children, only three- his daughters
Makaziwe, Zenani ‘Zeni’ and Zindziswa- are still alive.
His daughter Makaziwe, from his first marriage, and Zenani, from his second marriage, have reportedly already become embroiled in a legal battle earlier this year over the control of a £1 million trust fund.
However, Mr. Mandela’s third daughter, Zindzi, is not involved in the court action, the Star of South Africa reported.
But Makaziwe and Zanani are demanding access to the fund and have begun legal action against the trust’s two directors; 84-year-old lawyer George Bizos, who defended Mandela in the 1963 Rivonia Trial, and 60-year-old Tokyo S*xwale who was a prisoner alongside Mandela on Robben Island.
Supported by almost all of Mr. Mandela’s grandchildren, Makaziwe and Zenani allege that the trust was intended for them and that Mr. Bizos and Mr. S*xwale ‘hijacked’ it.
Makaziwe and Zenani have also launched a legal battle against the same two men and another lawyer Bally Chuene who are all directors of companies whose main purpose was to channel funds from the sale of Mandela’s handprints.
The two daughters claim that Bizos, S*xwale and Chuene were never appointed by Mandela as major shareholders or directors. Bizos claims the allegations are completely false.
It is understood that Mandela has accumulated a fortune of more than £10 million from his many autobiographies and intellectual work.