Nelson Mandela's daughters accused of 'greed' as details emerge of bitter dispute over their father's £1million trust fund

  • Makaziwe and Zenani Mandela battling 'gatekeepers' for control of trust
  • The pair are embroiled in a legal dispute with father's oldest friends
  • Mr Mandela set up the trust fund to prevent family arguing over his money

By Steve Nolan


Two of Nelson Mandela's surviving children have been accused of greed by friends of the former South African president after details of a legal dispute over his financial legacy became public.

Mr Mandela's daughters Makaziwe and Zenani are embroiled in a bitter battle with two of their father's oldest friends over the control of a trust fund holding £1million of his wealth.

The money was placed in the fund by Mr Mandela in 2005 to be distributed to his children only in the event of hardship as he wanted them to forge a career of their own rather than live off his money.

He is said to have set up the fund after 'losing trust' in his children with the money intended for 'specific circumstances' and not general use.

Makaziwe Mandela
Zenani Mandela pictured with her father Nelson

Bitter dispute: Makaziwe Mandela, left, and her sister Zenani, right with Nelson Mandela, are locked in a legal wrangle with two of their father's oldest friends over a £1million trust fund set up by the former South African president in 2005

'Lost trust': Nelson Mandela is said to have put £1million of his money in a trust fund to stop his family arguing over it

'Lost trust': Nelson Mandela is said to have put £1million of his money in a trust fund to stop his family arguing over it

But Makaziwe and Zanani are taking 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 Sexwale who was a prisoner alongside Mandela on Robben Island.


According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Mandela is said to have put the money in a trust fund to stop his children from fighting over it because he 'did not trust' them.

Not involved: Mr Mandela's other daughter Zindzi is not said to be involved in the impending court case

Not involved: Mr Mandela's other daughter Zindzi is not said to be involved in the impending court case

It is believed that the 94-year-old feared that his surviving children would feel 'entitled' to the money because of his 27 years in jail.

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 Sexwale 'hijacked' it.

In return, Mr Bizos says that Mr Mandela appointed him to manage the trust and said that Makaziwe wanted the money to distribute to family members.

He was accused of lying in an open letter from from Mr Mandela's granddaughter Tukwini.

She also accused him of slandering the Mandela family name and insulting her mother Makaziwe.

The impending court case has angered friends of Mr Mandela.

According to the Telegraph, one said: 'The litigants in this case are people who have no shame and a lot of greed.

'I don't think they realise how much damage they are doing to themselves because they are destroying the one thing they had of value and that's the Mandela name.'

But a group of Mandela's grandchildren say that they are all employed and denied accusations of greed.

Mr Mandela's third daughter, Zindzi, is not involved in the court action.

A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr Mandela has not been seen in public since 2010 and has been in hospital twice in recent months.

He is currently receiving medical care at his Johannesburg home and is not thought to be in good enough health to mediate in the row.

George Bizos pictured representing Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie at a trial in 1991
Tokyo Sexwale

Legal action: Two of Mandela's daughters are suing for control of the trust, which is under the control of lawyer George Bizos (pictured in 1991, left) and Tokyo Sexwale, right

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

1.) Mandela is overrated. 2.) His wife is already a convicted criminal. 3.) I'm sick of the attention these people get. 4.) South Africa is becoming a hellhole.

Click to rate

im surprised they havent blamed this one on apartheid yet!! greedy money grabbers

Click to rate

That "greed" charge is a killer

Click to rate

Vile, vicious women, intent on picking the bones clean. Winnie Mandela, their role model, taught them well.

Click to rate

Disgusting children, but then many of us knew that!

Click to rate

Tacky, to say the least - and you've gotta wonder why he had his 3 longest friends run the trust, not a family member?

Click to rate

Over rated and under-performed all around the world - failed to make any difference to the spread of AIDS but made enough to retire on.

Click to rate

He should cut them both out of his will, and leave his money to someone who would appreciate it.

Click to rate

Where did this fortune come from?

Click to rate

What a terrible shame for Mandela his family have turned out to be, he has obviously studied his daughters and found them wanting in character, a bitter disappointment for him.

Click to rate

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now