Durban - Minority Front leader Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi was described as a well-educated woman who had done nothing to provoke the vicious legal attack brought by her stepchildren in the Durban High Court.
This was the submission by her advocate, Aditya Kissoon Singh, on Tuesday in arguing that she was a suitable executor of her late husband Amichand Rajbansi’s estate, estimated to be worth R60 million.
Thakur-Rajbansi’s stepdaughters Vimshana and Vimtha went to court in May to remove her as the executor, saying she was not suitable.
They also said she had gone behind their backs to have herself appointed as the executor and that she would not follow their father’s wishes.
In court papers they also accused their stepmother of misleading the court on documents she had signed relating to the estate. They want Rajbansi’s attorney Himal Tugh to be appointed the executor.
Judge Nompumelelo Ra-debe reserved judgment on Tuesday.
The split between Thakur-Rajbansi and her stepdaughters came soon after Rajbansi died in December last year and left four wills.
The two most recent ones were written six months apart in 2010, but were markedly different. His daughters say the two 2010 wills should be read together, but the will written in July 2010 was accepted by the master of the high court as the official one.
Since Rajbansi did not nominate an executor, the master appointed Thakur-Rajbansi as the surviving spouse.
Kissoon Singh said his client was being attacked without provocation.
“She has done nothing to provoke this kind of application. It is a senseless application. She has not made one move regarding the estate. This is a premature case. If she does something wrong, then they can complain.”
Kissoon Singh added that Thakur-Rajbansi was not an illiterate, uneducated housewife who did not know how to administer her estate.
“What is wrong with my client? She is a pharmacist, has an MBA and runs a political party.”
He added that Thakur-Rajbansi had not misled the court. But Vimshana’s advocate, Paul Wallis, argued that Thakur-Rajbansi was unsuitable as an executor.
“She changes her mind as the wind blows. Initially she tells the family that she believes the July 2010 will was written when her husband is ill and is not correct. But later she says it is a valid will without giving any reasons for this.”
Wallis added that Thakur-Rajbansi had denied signing a document although Tugh had said he saw her sign it.
“Tugh is an attorney of this court; his affidavit should not be taken lightly. Thakur-Rajbansi’s denial about her signature is not good enough and casts aspersions on her character,” he said.
The court heard that Vimtha had withdrawn from the application.
Pending judgment, an interim order by Judge Radebe in May will remain in place that Thakur-Rajbansi administer the estate on condition she tells the children of interim payments or distribution of assets. - The Mercury