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THE estranged first wife of Nkosi Mandla Mandela has accused the Mvezo Chief of beating her and committing adultery.
These allegations were contained in an urgent application filed in the Mthatha High Court last Friday by 31-year-old Tando Mandela, whose maiden surname is Mabunu.
Tando filed the application in an eleventh-hour attempt to interdict Mandela from marrying his teenage bride, 19-year-old Anais Grimaud from France’s Reunion island last weekend.
The court action comes as Mandela, the grandson of struggle icon Nelson Mandela , and Tando are in the middle of divorce proceedings at the Mthatha High Court.
Although Tando failed to stop the wedding from taking place over the weekend, Judge Zamani Nhlangulela ruled that half of Mandela ’s R5 million account be frozen pending the outcome of the divorce.
Mandela, the first respondent in the matter, was also ordered to pay the costs of the application and show cause on April 15 why the order should not be made permanent.
Grimaud is the second respondent in the matter.
Tando also claimed in court papers that she had only been notified of her husband’s second marriage through a text message sent on March 8.
The message read: “Abathembu invites you to the traditional wedding of Nkosi Zwelivelile and Anais Grimaud (Nobubele) on the 20th March 2010 at Mvezo komkhulu in the Eastern Cape.”
In his answering affidavit, Mandela denied that he had beaten Tando or committed adultery during their marriage.
He also claimed that Tando and her family had been notified that he would take a second wife after she (Tando) had apparently “deserted” him by filing for divorce .
“My family on receipt of divorce proceedings, including myself, informed the applicant’s family that their child (Tando) had deserted me after she instituted divorce proceedings against me,” Mandela said.
Mandela said her family was then informed that Mandela, as Mvezo Chief, could not carry out his responsibilities without a wife.
But Tando in her founding affidavit alleged that the marriage had broken down due to alleged physical abuse and adultery.
“Regrettably the marriage relationship between the first respondent and myself has broken down on account of the first respondent’s physical abuse of me, his adultery with other women and other factors which are not relevant to the purposes of this application,” Tando claimed in court papers.
Tando further alleged that although Mandela had engaged in affairs with other women before, he “has now pursued the ultimate relationship of advertising his intention to enter the customary traditional marriage with the second respondent (Grimaud)”.
Tando, a full-time student studying towards a post-graduate diploma in media management, also revealed in court papers how her husband had allegedly called her a “gold digger” and had refused to give her a divorce settlement.
The two are reportedly married in community of property.
“Regrettably the first respondent has refused to share his financial information with me openly, declared that I will not get a cent on divorce and has accused me of being a gold digger.”
She said she stood to be “significantly prejudiced” in the light of “his flamboyant lifestyle, his ongoing affairs with other women and his expressed intention to marry others during the time we are still married”.
She claimed she did not have assets of her own partly because Mandela had insisted that she focus on her studies and that she now relied solely on her sisters as she was also unemployed.
In dispute were two First National Bank accounts in Mandela ’s name.
She said the one bank account had approximately R5,200,000 while the other had in excess of R200,000.
Tando is also claiming livestock which she said they co-owned, as well as 11 rondavels and cars, including a Landcruiser.
In Mandela ’s answering papers, he said his bank account could not be frozen because he used it on a daily basis.
Published: Daily Dispatch 25 March 2010