Johannesburg -

Mandla Mandela is single again – well, almost. On Friday, the Mthata High Court declared the Mvezo chief’s marriage to his third bride, Mbali Makhathini, null and void.

He married Makhathini, who is from Pietermaritzburg, on Christmas Eve in 2011.

His first wife, Tando Mabuno-Mandela, brought the application to have her husband’s third marriage annulled in 2012.

She also succeeded in having Mandela’s second marriage in 2010 to French teenager Anais Grimaud annulled.

Mabuno-Mandela and the chief have been embroiled in a bitter divorce since 2009 fighting over assets. The pair married legally in 2004.

On Friday, Acting Judge Malusi set aside Mandela’s customary marriage to Makhatini.

The acting judge also ordered the third respondent in the case, the minister of home affairs, to remove any entry from the marriage registered which reflected that the couple were married.

Mandela was also ordered to pay Mabuno-Mandela’s costs, including her lawyer’s transport costs for travelling from East London to Mthatha more than 10 times.

Mabuno-Mandela’s lawyer, Wesley Hayes, told the Saturday Star that he was happy with the outcome at court and that his client felt vindicated.

“Hopefully, now we can go ahead with the divorce without any obstacles.”

Mandela was not in court on Friday. Instead, he was visiting schools in Limpopo to motivate pupils to exceed their potential. He visited Moruleng Secondary School and Khaiso High School located in Seshego Zone 1 and 2 respectively.

He told the pupils it was an honour and privilege for him to have been talking to them.

Mandela said that Limpopo was his second home, as his mother was from Mosehle family in the mountainous village of Ga-Marishane in Sekhukhune district.

He quoted his grandfather Nelson Mandela who once said: “Society is judged by the manner it treats its children.”

“Education requires an immense commitment and contribution from the community,” said Madiba’s grandson. Mandela urged pupils to recognise that education was a weapon that every one of them should strive to arm themselves with.

“My granddad said we should be of service to the people and society to effect change. Education needs collective efforts to be achieved,” he said.

Mandela further urged those pupils who were old enough to vote in this year’s general elections in May to register this weekend.

“Tomorrow and Sunday, the (IEC) will be opening its doors for voter registration. You must make sure that you have registered and your name appears in the voters roll, and make a mark in the upcoming general elections.”

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Saturday Star