Nelson Mandela leaves US$4.1 million estate to family, staff, ANC

JOHANNESBURG — Former South African President Nelson Mandela has left his US$4.1 million (S$5.2 million) estate to family members, the ruling African National Congress, former staff and several local schools, according to a reading of his will today (Feb 3).

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke told reporters the division of the estate — provisionally valued at 46 million rand (S$5.2 million) excluding royalties — had been accepted by Mandela’s family earlier today with no contestation so far.

Mandela’s third wife, Ms Graca Machel, may waive her claims to the estate, Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke said at a news conference where he summarised parts of Mandela’s 40-page will.

He said some of the estate would be split between three trusts set up by Mandela, including a family trust designed to provide for his more than 30 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The reading of Mandela’s will was expected to set off another round of squabbling among members of his large and factious family over the anti-apartheid hero’s financial legacy.

Mandela, who died in December at the age of 95, left behind an estate that includes an upscale house in Johannesburg, a modest dwelling in his rural Eastern Cape home province and royalties from book sales, including his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

More visibly, his legacy includes a potent political and moral brand that some of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren have already used to market everything from clothing to reality TV.

Some of his grandchildren have started a line of caps and sweatshirts that feature his image under the brand Long Walk to Freedom. Two of his United States-based granddaughters starred in a reality television show called Being Mandela.

Such aggressive marketing — as well as reports of fighting among family members over Mandela’s money — have fuelled the impression in South Africa that some of the family members have exploited their famous relative.

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