While the country speculates, deliberates and analyses why Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was left out of her former husband Nelson Mandela’s will, not a word has been spoken by her.
Mandela’s R46 million will was read out to his family and presented to the media on Monday.
Madikizela-Mandela was not included in the 22-page executive summary.
Mandela’s third wife, Graça Machel, received the bulk of his estate, including four properties in Mozambique, their vehicles, jewellery and all the money in their bank accounts or invested.
Despite a raging public debate on social media between so-called “Winnie Fans” and people who felt that she, as his former wife, did not deserve a cut, the only tweet that came from the official Winnie Mandela Twitter profile was advice for her grandchildren.
“No one is fearless, that’s impossible. But learning how to control fear, that’s something I try to teach my grandchildren,” the tweet read. It was re-tweeted more than 100 times.
Public opinion was split, seemingly evenly, between those saying she was not entitled to his money and those offering Madikizela-Mandela support, labelling her a legend who would never be forgotten and the mother of the nation.
Comments such as “She’s an ex-wife, she got her money during the divorce!” (from Facebook user Zinhle Ndingane) and “I’ve never heard of an ex of a married man considered in his will!” (from Facebook user Malcolm Hleta) were not uncommon on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday.
On Facebook, Zamahlasela Gabela said: “I think it’s quite alright that she didn’t get anything. We don’t know what their relationship was like behind closed doors. I think she’s going to be more than okay… she’s got a lot going for her.”
George De Bruin said on Facebook: “They have divorced long ago. She got her settlement. He owed her nothing.”
On Twitter, Annella Ngwenya said even though Madikizela-Mandela did not get any money, she had the “love, support and appreciation of her people”.
Thabiso Molewa tweeted that Madikizela-Mandela was “still a legend. I love this woman with all my soul”.
Other users on social media preferred a more comical angle:
- @iammtoo: I am very convinced that Mama Graça will give something to Mama
- @fragrantlenny: Who cares! She’s an ex, meaning ex-cluded!
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