A huge row has erupted among the Mandela family members after Zenani and Makaziwe Mandela made a court application to have Bizos, businessman and politician Tokyo Sexwale, and lawyer Bally Chuene removed from Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings. The sisters are also requesting that the trio be removed as directors from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) registry. All three men have acted for former president, Nelson Mandela in the past.
The companies were set up to channel proceeds of Mandela’s handprints into the accounts of the companies for Mandela and his children’s benefit. To date they have collected more than R15 million according to The Star.
The two sisters accuse Chuene, Sexwale and Bizos of unlawfully appointing themselves as directors of the companies – Claiming that the men refuse to distribute the millions to the former president’s grandchildren. Chief Mandla Mandela was listed as one of the 17 children and grandchildren who support the sisters’ claims. Mandla, however released a statement yesterday, completely distancing himself from the application.
“I want to put it on record that I am neither aware of this court application nor supportive of it. There are ways that the family handles these kinds of private matters and I believe that resorting to the courts is not the correct route to take.” He said. Mandla also states that he wants to be disassociated from the application and any decisions reached about it.
Lawyer Ismail Ayob says that Mandla signed over power of attorney on 30 May last year however, contradicting Mandla’s denial of his knowledge regarding the matter. “He signed it in my presence. He filled in his ID number. He signed his address.” Says Ayob.
Mandla’s spokes-man Freddy Pilusa responded last night by explaining that “he (Mandla) says the power of attorney related to a different matter, the Makgatho Trust. He did not know it would be used to make an application to remove anyone as director of any company.”