Johannesburg - Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, advocate George Bizos and Judge President of the Eastern Cape Themba Sangoni are named as the executors of Nelson Mandela’s last will and testament.
The contents of Madiba’s will are not known and it will only be read sometime next year. In the meantime, the three men must first accept the responsibility of executing the will.
Thereafter, their names must be registered with the Office of the Master of the court. Hence many months will pass before the icon’s last wishes are made public.
The name of Bizos appears as no surprise, as he was Madiba’s long-time friend, confidante and personal attorney. Equally so for Sangoni, who worked on various legal matters for Mandela pertaining to the Eastern Cape. However it is Moseneke’s name that will come as a surprise to many.
While Madiba’s political home was the ANC, Moseneke was a long-time member of the Pan Africanist Congress. The pair met on Robben Island and though their paths diverged, they remained friends to the end.
The same cannot be said for the current leadership of the ANC, however, who have been irritated by Moseneke’s outspoken views against them in recent years.
This latest version of Madiba’s will was finalised sometime around 2005 when the former president dropped the controversial Ismail Ayob as his attorney.
Then it was discovered that Ayob had drafted a will on Madiba’s behalf and had named himself as administrator of his assets and wealth on behalf of the Mandela family. It was also discovered that he had started various companies in Mandela’s name - though unknown to Madiba - and had appointed himself sole director.
How palatable this latest development might be for members of his family remains to be seen. The 95-year-old died on December 5, just months after two of his daughters - Zenani and Makaziwe - dropped a civil suit against him in which they tried, but failed, to win control over his estate.