Mandela grandson's wife blocks third marriage

22nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

A South African court Thursday granted the wife of Nelson Mandela's grandson a ban on on him marrying another woman, for the second time in seven months.

Tando Mabunu-Mandela successfully claimed her civil law union with Mandla Mandela blocks his marriage to customary wives.

The Mthatha High Court found in her favour and prohibited Mandla's planned marriage to a Swazi princess this weekend, Sapa news agency reported.

Mabunu-Mandela had her husband's 2010 marriage to a woman from Reunion Island declared illegal in May this year on the same grounds.

Mandla is a grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela and also a member of parliament. He heads the family clan in the rural Eastern Cape province.

"I think Mandla should focus rather on getting divorced successfully rather than marrying more wives," Wesley Haynes, Mabunu-Mandela's lawyer, told the agency.

South Africa allows a person to be married either to one spouse under civil law or several spouses under customary law. He cannot have wives under the different laws at the same time.

"While it is correct that, in African tribal law, a husband may take more than one tribal wife, this is of no assistance to (Mandela) because he has married me in terms of civil rights," The Times newspaper quoted Mabunu-Mandela as saying in her court application.

A sheriff this week seized assets worth 100,000 rands ($12,000, 9,000 euros) from Mandla after he failed to pay maintenance to Mabunu-Mandela pending their divorce that has been on hold since 2009.

The 37-year-old chief has made the news for all the wrong reasons over the last few years.

Neighbours accused him of expropriating village land to build a luxury hotel and sports stadium this year, and a court had to order him to release journalists he held hostage when they investigated the allegations.

Two years ago a report alleged he had sold the broadcasting rights to Nelson Mandela's funeral to the South African public broadcaster. He denied the report at the time.

Nelson Mandela was elected the country's first black president in South Africa's first all-race vote in 1994 and served one term before stepping down in 1999.

The anti-apartheid icon, now 93, returned to his rural home in June after being discharged from hospital in January for an acute respiratory infection.

© 2011 AFP

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