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  • FILE - In this June 17, 2010 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela leaves the chapel after attending the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. The South African presidency says Mandela has been discharged, Saturday, April 6, 2013, from a hospital after an improvement in his condition. Officials say he was treated for pneumonia. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool, File)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:13 pm

SAfrica report: Dispute over Mandela companies


Nelson Mandela's children have launched a court case against several longtime associates of the former president in a dispute over the control of two companies, a South African newspaper reported Wednesday.

The case was filed Monday in the Johannesburg High Court by Mandela's daughters, Makaziwe and Zenani Mandela, reported The Star, and was supported by the grandchildren of the anti-apartheid leader, who recently left a hospital after treatment for pneumonia.

The main purpose of the companies was to channel funds from the sale of 94-year-old Nelson Mandela's handprints for the benefit of the Mandela family. The proceeds are estimated to be worth about $1.7 million, reported The Star, without citing sources.

The court papers said lawyers George Bizos and Bally Chuene, and businessman Tokyo Sexwale, have no right to remain as directors of Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings because they were not properly appointed.

"All three - Bizos, Chuene and Sexwale - were invited to resign as directors, which invitation they declined. Bizos, Chuene and Sexwale were not formally appointed by the shareholder (Mandela) of the companies by way of any resolution," Makaziwe Mandela said in an affidavit, according to The Star.

Makaziwe Mandela declined to comment on the newspaper report when contacted by The Associated Press.

The court papers also referred to allegations that the three men had failed to perform their duties at the companies with "due care, skill and diligence," the newspaper reported.

Bizos, who defended Mandela during the apartheid years, denied the allegations and said he and his associates were appointed on the wishes of the former president five years ago, reported the newspaper.