Nelson Mandela left $4m estate

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke: "I'm not aware of any contest of any type"

South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela left an estate provisionally valued at 46m rand ($4.13m; £2.53m), the executors of his will have said.

The Mandela family trust will receive $130,000, plus royalties. Others to benefit include the governing ANC, personal staff and several schools.

Mr Mandela's third wife, Graca Machel, was likely to waive her claims to the estate, the executors said, although she is entitled to half of it.

Mr Mandela died in December, aged 95.

The former president left behind an estate that includes an upmarket house in Johannesburg, a modest dwelling in his rural Eastern Cape home province and royalties from book sales, including his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela at the Mandela foundation in Johannesburg, during a meeting with a group of American and South African students, as part of a series of activities leading to Mandela Day in July 2009. Nelson Mandela left some of his money to close personal staff and schools he attended
Graca Machel, the widow of former South African President Nelson Mandela, attends his funeral in his ancestral village of Qunu on 15 December 2013. Lawyers said Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel was likely to waive her right to half the estate

Executor Justice Dikgang Moseneke said he was "not aware of any contest" to the 40-page will.

Analysis

Nelson Mandela's bank account certainly did not match his stature in the world.

For all the respect he enjoyed around the globe, he was not a rich man.

It was very much in line with his character that he bequeathed funds to his staff and the schools he attended.

He left an equitable will, giving $300,000 to each of his biological and step-children. These are the ones Graca Machel had with her late husband, former Mozambique President Samora Machel.

When I asked Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who read out the summary of the will, about the mood inside the room when he read it to Mr Mandela's family, he said it had gone well but will readings tend to be emotionally charged in most families.

I have not heard of any reports of acrimonious disagreements from his family, which media reports have led us to expect. If the huge Mandela dynasty can keep it this way, they will have done themselves and the nation proud.

Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, Mr Moseneke said the 46m rand was based on "rough and ready estimates" and the final amount could be very different.

"We are yet to get down to the business of finding the asset, listing them and valuing them and accurately reflecting them. We have a duty to file a provisional inventory."

The final amount "could be one 10th of what we've said the value is, it could even be double", he said.

Justice Moseneke, who is also deputy head of South Africa's Constitutional Court, said some of the estate would be split between three trusts set up by Mr Mandela, including a family trust designed to provide for his more than 30 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family trust will receive 1.5m rand, plus royalties.

Schools the former president attended are due to receive 100,000 rand each, as are Wits and Fort Hare Universities, for bursaries and scholarships.

The ANC (African National Congress) will also receive some royalties, to be used at the discretion of the party's executive committee, to spread information about the party's principles and policies, particularly concerning reconciliation.

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

Close personal staff, including long-time personal aide Zelda la Grange, each get 50,000 rand.

The Mandela family grave in Qunu, right, from where the remains of three family members of former South African president Nelson Mandela were removed by his grandson. A court ordered him to return the remains. Relatives feuded over the Mandela family grave even before the former president died, leading to speculation the will could spark new disagreements
A woman looks on as South African former president Nelson Mandela's coffin is carried to his burial site during his state funeral in his home village in Qunu. Qunu's high school will receive 100,000 rand from his will. The high school in Mr Mandela's home village of Qunu, will get 100,000 rand

The home in Houghton, Johannesburg where Mr Mandela died on 5 December 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.

The mood of the Mandela family when the will was read was "charged with emotions but it went well," said the executor, who added that the Mandela family were "well pleased" by his will.

Despite this, there are fears the will could set off another round of squabbling among members of his large and factious family.

Mr Moseneke said there was a 90-day period in which the will can be contested.

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

More on This Story

Mandela's death

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.