Jean-Jacques Cornish

Winnie Mandela loses her legal bid to own her former husband’s home

The former wife of the late Nelson Mandela has lost her legal bid to get ownership of the first black South African president’s home at his birthplace in the Eastern Cape.

The Mandela family welcomes the judgment against Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and says she should never have taken it to court.

The anti-apartheid stalward’s lawyer say they will appeal the decision.

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Nelson Mandela left the Qunu property to all members of the Mandela family as a place to unify them.

He was married to Graça Machel when he died on December 5 2013.

His former wife was left out of his last will and testament released two months later.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyers claim that the property was obtained while she was married to Mandela so in terms of AbaThembu custom it belongs to her irrespective of the divorce.

Advocate George Bizos, one of the executors of the former president’s will, opposed the action lodged by Madikizela-Mandela. The matter was dismissed with costs.

The royal family of the Kingdom of AbaThembu say the ruling shows Nelson Mandela was indeed a man of integrity who properly applied his mind before he finalised his will.

They believe Madikizela-Mandela was misled by some members of the family and that she did not receive the legal advice she needed.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.