Nelson Mandela's family has reportedly been at war over his millions for years, and his death Thursday may trigger even more bitter battles over who stands to gain his fortune, the Daily Mail reported Thursday
The legendary former president of South Africa was married three times and fathered six children, only three of whom — daughters Makaziwe, Zenani, and Zindzis — 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 over the control of a trust fund worth an estimated $1.6 million, the British newspaper said.
Mandela's third daughter, Zindzi, is not involved in the court action, the Mail reported, citing the Star of South Africa.
The money was placed in the fund by Mandela in 2005 to be distributed to his daughters only in the event of hardship, the Mail reported.
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 a 1963 trial, and 60-year-old Tokyo Sexwale, who was a prisoner alongside Mandela on Robben Island, the newspaper reported.
Makaziwe and Zenani allege the trust was intended for them and Bizos and Sexwale “hijacked” it said.
Makaziwe and Zenani are also involved in a separate legal battle
against the pair and another lawyer, Bally Chuene — all directors of companies whose main purpose was to channel funds from the sale of artwork.
The two daughters claim Bizos, Sexwale, and Chuene were never appointed by Mandela as major shareholders or directors. Bizos claims the allegations are false.
Mandela is believed to have accumulated a fortune of about $16 million, the Mail reported, and the family is active in more than 110 trading companies, according to records compiled by Beeld newspaper.
Makaziwe has denied any exploitation by the family, reportedly saying: "
Every child in this family who wants to use the Mandela name has a right to do, so as long as they do so with honor and integrity and upholding the values of my father,” the Mail reported.
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