RURAL and Agrarian Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti has dismissed Winnie MadikizelaMandela’s claim that she did not know the Qunu property owned by Nelson Mandela had been registered in his name.
In his answering affidavit filed yesterday, Nkwinti said, had Madikizela-Mandela exercised reasonable care, she would have known about the registration of the property. It holds two buildings and the statesman’s grave.
Madikizela-Mandela first filed her application in August, only months after Mandela’s will was read out to the public.
Mandela bequeathed the Qunu property to the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust on behalf of his widow Graca Machel, her children and the rest of the Mandela family.
Nkwinti wrote that Madikizela-Mandela’s claim that she was granted permission to occupy the land, which was donated to Mandela, had no force or effect as she had no deed of alienation to back this.
“The late Mr Mandela, however, acquired full registered ownership of the property and has a title deed thereto.
“He effected improvements thereon which enhanced the value of the land.
“[Madikizela-Mandela] however seeks to have the land and improvements transferred to her. She seeks a relief which is more than what she allegedly lost,” Nkwinti wrote. He said the traditional leaders of AbaThembu could not have granted Madikizela-Mandela ownership of the land as they had no such authority.
Nkwinti said the land allegedly allocated to Madikizela-Mandela was not the entire property donated to Mandela.
“Despite this assertion, she seeks to have the entire land given to her.”
In her application, Madikizela-Mandela’s claims that Mandela should not have used the State Land Disposal Act for his personal benefit.
Nkwinti disputes this in his affidavit.
“It is clear from the record that the act did not prohibit the donation to [Mandela],” he wrote.
“There was no undue influence on the Minister of Land Affairs to donate the land to [Mandela].
“Such aspersions sought to be cast on [Mandela] are not only unfounded and untrue but [also] unfortunate.”
Former land affairs minister Derek Hanekom, now Deputy Arts and Culture Minister, also filed an affidavit as he had approved the donation of land to Mandela.
He rejected Madikizela-Mandela’s claim that he been pressured to approve the donation of land to Mandela.
“I deny vehemently that undue influence was exerted upon me.
“I reject such suggestions with contempt and umbrage,” Hanekom wrote.
The executors are expected to file their affidavit today.
Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi said he would not comment on the matter, but said a replying affidavit would be filed in due course.