Mandela grandson wins fight over house
NELSON Mandela's grandson, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, scored a victory yesterday when a court awarded him legal rights to his late father's Orlando East, Soweto, property.
The 33-year-old chief at Mvezo in Qunu won the rights to the house in a dissenting judgment in the Gauteng Housing Adjudication Board when two of the three adjudicators ruled in his favour.
This comes after Zwelivelile's cousin, Ema Ngcongolo, dragged him before the board, challenging his efforts to evict her and her family.
Ngcongolo, 49, who has been living on the property for the past 18 years, claimed that Zwelivelile's late father, Makgatho Mandela, gave her permission to occupy the house indefinitely in a verbal agreement in 1991.
Makgatho died in January 2005, and Zwelivelile attempted to evict her eight months later.
He testified earlier that his father's intentions were to evict the Ngcongolos. He said his father was enraged that the Ngcongolos had renovated the property, paved the driveway, built a perimeter wall and erected a spaza shop without his consent.
A court initially ruled in Zwelivelile's favour in September last year but Ngcongolo appealed. Two of the board adjudicators yesterday ruled that Ngcongolo's claims that Makgatho had given her the house were never formalised.
The court found that Ngcongolo had been given permission to temporarily occupy the property but that it was neither a gift or donation. They also found that Makgatho had completed and signed an application for a title deed in 2003, requesting for the property to be transferred into his name.
Ngcongolo had never challenged this application.
Ngcongolo said she was waiting for her lawyers to give her instructions on a way forward.
"They will decide what steps I should take," she said.