Mandela takes the shine off Winnie's goldmine

NELSON MANDELA is challenging the right of his former wife Winnie to pocket the profits she is making from their former home in Soweto.

Since Winnie Madikizela-Mandela opened the humble residence she once shared with her ex-husband to the public three months ago, it has proved a nice little earner.

Up to 1,000 tourists a day pay 5 rand (60p) a head to visit the little house in Orlando West, while Mrs Mandela's sister runs a souvenir shop in the garage which sells soil from the garden in little bottles at a bargain 10 rands.

The only problem is that Mrs Mandela does not own the house which she has turned into a museum. And now, according to the Johannesburg Star newspaper, President Mandela wants her evicted from the house which he as the rightful owner has donated to the Soweto Heritage Trust, run by the township, tourism officials and big business. "The President has said we should evict her because he gave the house to the people," said an embarrassed Sydney Phuti, the trust's deputy chairman. "It's a sensitive matter. We do not want to get an interdict to remove her from the house. We are trying to negotiate."

Mrs Mandela has not lived in the Orlando West house for years.

She prefers her luxury house in Diepkloof, Soweto's answer to Beverly Hills, which was built by an American benefactor. But the plaque now bolted to the outside wall of her old home reads "The Winnie Mandela and Family Museum" - making no mention of her ex- husband from whom she was divorced two years ago.

Nthato Motlana, one of South Africa's most successful businessmen, has been called in to mediate.

But Mrs Mandela's lawyer, Ishmael Semenya - who represented her in the recent public hearings into her alleged involvement in the murder of Soweto activists in the 1980s - suggested Mrs Mandela will fight any move to take away her control of the museum. He claimed Mrs Mandela lodged papers to have the house changed into her name back in 1985.

An ugly legal battle looks likely as the house was, in fact, only registered in the President's name at the beginning of last year.

He had not owned the house previously because under apartheid blacks were denied the right to possess freeholds.

The house plays central role in the Mandela saga. The couple lived there in the late 1950s and it was from there that Mr Mandela went underground and Mrs Mandela, a decade later, was banished from Soweto to the internal exile in the Free State.

But the house is also tainted by scandal. In 1988, angry Soweto residents burnt the house down in disgust at the violent activities of Mrs Mandela's notorious group of bodyguards, the so-called Mandela United Football Team. It has since been rebuilt.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
Researchers have said it could take only two questions to identify a problem with alcohol
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers ...

LSA (afterschool club) vacancy in Newport

£40 per day + Travel Scheme : Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job: Our client ...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style