Mandla Mandela in paternity row
Says baby boy was fathered by his brother
MANDLA Mandela, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela and ANC MP, said yesterday that Qheya Zanethemba Mandela was not his son.
He released a statement saying the child born to French beauty Anais Grimaud on September 1 last year was fathered by one of his brothers.
"The Mandela family has sent my wife Nkosikazi Nobubele Mandela (nee Anais Grimaud) back to her home after it was discovered that she has been having an affair with one of my brothers.
"I confirm that this affair resulted in a son that Nkosikazi Nobubele gave birth to in 2011," part of the statement reads.
While Mandla Mandela could not be reached to confirm the authenticity of the statement, Freddy Pilusa of FNP Communications said that he had released it on behalf of Mandela and verified its authenticity.
He said Mandla Mandela was abroad. Mandla Mandela did not respond to telephone calls or SMSes.
Mandla Mandela is currently embroiled in a bitter divorce from his first wife, Thando Mabunu-Mandela, who is demanding half their joint estate. She successfully challenged his marriage to Grimaud in court and had it annulled.
In April this year, it was reported that even though half of Mandla Mandela's millions of rands had been frozen pending the finalisation of his divorce from Mabunu-Mandela, a lot of cash had gone "missing".
Half of the money, totalling almostR3-million, was to be frozen until divorce proceedings had been finalised.
Mandla Mandela is alleged to have transferred the cash into an account in Qheya's name.
Qheya was born to Grimaud, who took the Xhosa name Nobubele when she married the chief of Mvezo at the age of 19.
Mandla Mandela and Grimaud presented the child to Mandela at a naming ceremony in Qunu on September 16 last year. The former president chose the baby's name.
While Mandla Mandela said the baby boy was fathered by one of his brothers, Ndaba Mandela, the older of his two brothers said it was not his child.
"Nobody knows who the father is, but I can confidently confirm that it was not me.
"Mandla told me that he was not the father," he said.
"She (Grimaud) left because of their problems, the child's paternity was probably one of the main reasons.
"I have never touched her in a physical or sexual way."
In the statement Mandla Mandela said he was "shocked" at the news of the affair.
"The revelation of this affair has come as a shock to me and the rest of my family. It has been made more painful because it is my own brother who is at the centre of the crisis," Mandla Mandela said in the statement.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Grimaud had returned to her Reunion island home with Qheya about three months ago. At the time, a source said she had left following a fight between her and Mandla Mandela.
Yesterday, a source close to the royal family, who asked to remain anonymous until everything was official, said Mandla Mandela had still not called a family meeting to inform elders about the reasons for Grimaud's departure.
"We have not been officially told that the child is not his, but rumours are circulating about the child's paternity," he said.
Mandla Mandela's attorney, Gary Jansen, was quoted in a report as saying: "It is false reporting. I have spoken to [Mandela ], who confirmed that it is not true."