Lawyers acting for two alleged love children of Nelson Mandela have asked to be acknowledged by his estate.
Attorney Michael Katz, one of two attorneys appointed by the executors of Mandela’s estate to deal with issues around his will, confirmed on Sunday night that he had been contacted on behalf of the families of two women, who claimed Mpho Pule and Onica Mothoa had been fathered by Mandela while he was still married to his first wife, Evelyn Mase.
M-Net’s Carte Blanche programme said on Sunday night that legal representatives acting for the two women’s families had approached the Master of the High Court to halt the distribution of funds from his estate in terms of Mandela’s will.
Katz said the women were not claiming any money from the estate, only recognition.
He said that as far as he was aware, no approach had been made to the Master of the High Court.
Katz said he would be meeting with the executors of the Mandela estate to discuss the matter.
In the Carte Blanche programme, Pule and Mothoa’s relatives said they had repeatedly tried to contact Mandela and get confirmation that he was the father of the two women.
However, while at least one of the women had met Mandela, no acknowledgement that he was their father had been forthcoming.
Claims of Mandela being their father are not new. The women – originally from Pretoria and Bloemfontein – have featured in various news reports down the years.
In the most recent reported case in The Star, Mothoa said she’d been refused access to Mandela during his last hospitalisation in Pretoria.
She also tried to see him at his Houghton home, and travelled to Qunu in the hope of being acknowledged by him as a daughter.
Mothoa told The Star on Friday she did not care about his inheritance, which was divided among his family last week.
She said she had now completed a DNA test in her quest to prove that the global icon is her father.
She said the DNA test was conducted using her saliva.
“I know the Mandela family have always believed that I was being opportunistic because I wanted a share in the inheritance. That’s not true. I just want them to acknowledge that Mandela is my father,” Mothoa said, with a quiver in her voice.
Mandela’s estate, which is worth about R46 million was divided last week among his family, his staff members and assistants, schools that he attended and the ANC.
Mothoa said: “No amount of millions can buy the identity of a person. It is very important even for my children, as well as my grandchildren, to know who they are. That is why I’m doing the DNA test. It is my right to know my roots.”
Mothoa is still paying off a bill of R14 000 after she hired a car to transport her to Qunu to attend the funeral last year.
“As usual, the bodyguards prevented me from entering the premises. Even seeing him in his coffin would have meant so much to me,” she said.
Mothoa camped outside the Mandela homestead from 7am.
“I was so emotional. I just could not believe Tata was buried before I formally got to meet him,” Mothoa said.
In 2010, then Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesman Sello Hatang told The Star the Mandelas would investigate Mothoa’s claim.
It was reported that Pule had spent almost 12 years battling to see him.
She died in 2010, a month after Mandela’s office wrote to say they were close to confirming her claim.