Channel NewsAsia

Mandela's estate worth estimated US$4.1m

Nelson Mandela left his roughly US$4.1-million estate to his wife Graca Machel, family members, staff, schools and the ANC, according to a summary of his will released Monday.

JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela left his roughly US$4.1-million estate to his wife Graca Machel, family members, staff, schools and the ANC, according to a summary of his will released Monday.

Two months after the death of the 95-year-old South African statesman, lawyers said wife Graca was likely to waive her right to half the estate, opting instead to receive four properties in Mozambique and other assets.

Royalties from his books and other projects, as well as his homes in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Qunu and Mthatha were left to a family trust.

The home in Houghton, Johannesburg where Mandela died on December 5 will be used by the family of his deceased son Makgatho.

"It is my wish that it should also serve as a place of gathering of the Mandela family in order to maintain its unity long after my death," the former statesman wrote.

Mandela's children each received US$300,000 in loans during his lifetime and will have that debt scrapped if it has not been repaid.

The will was first written in 2004 and last amended in 2008.

Even before his death, Mandela's children and grandchildren frequently clashed over who leads the family and who should benefit from his investments.

Several have already put the Mandela brand behind commercial projects including wine, clothing, artwork, a social network and a reality television show.

Executor Dikgang Moseneke, the deputy head of South Africa's Constitutional Court, said the reading of the will to the family had been "charged with emotion" but no one had yet contested it.

Mandela's other bequeathments reflected a life in politics and championing education.

Mandela gave around US$4,500 each to members of staff, including long-time personal aide Zelda la Grange.

The will also provided around US$9,000 each for Wits and Fort Hare universities, and the same amount to three other schools.

The African National Congress, which Mandela led to victory in the first democratic elections in 1994, could receive between 10 and 30 per cent of his royalties.

The cash will be used specifically to promote "policies and principles of reconciliation amongst the people of South Africa".

It is unclear if the will can prevent family battles over who controls the Mandela name, which have seen family remains exhumed and reinterred and exhumed and reinterred again.

Eldest daughter Makaziwe reportedly had the locks changed on Mandela's rural home after his death to exclude his eldest grandson Mandla, the head of Mandela's clan.

Makaziwe and Mandla both lay claim to lead the family following the death of the anti-apartheid hero in December.

Makaziwe is backed by Mandela's second wife Winnie, and Mandla has the support of the royal family of his tribe.

Three executors will now be tasked with winding up the estate and carrying out Mandela's wishes.

They are George Bizos, who represented Mandela at the trial that jailed him for 27 years; Moseneke, the deputy head of the country's Constitutional Court who spent years with the icon imprisoned on Robben Island; and Themba Sangoni the head judge in Mandela's birth province the Eastern Cape

Mandela became South Africa's first black president after the first all-race elections in 1994 and his politics of forgiveness and reconciliation made him a global peace icon.

He died on December 5 and was buried 10 days later in his rural boyhood home of Qunu.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna