Mandela’s ex-wife loses inheritance bid

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in December 2013Image copyright

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Ms Madikizela-Mandela grew apart from Nelson Mandela during his many years in prison

Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife has lost her legal bid for ownership of the former president’s rural home in South Africa.

A High Court dismissed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s application and ordered her to pay all legal costs.

She argued that the house in Qunu village, where Mr Mandela spent most of his time until his death in 2013, belonged to her under customary law.

Mr Mandela, who was South Africa’s first black president in 1994, had bequeathed the home to his family.

The government opposed Ms Madikizela-Mandela’s bid to inherit the home after she launched court action in 2014.

Mr Mandela divorced Ms Madikizela-Mandela in 1996 after a 38-year marriage, and left her out of his will.

They were South Africa’s most celebrated political couple until their marriage collapsed unexpectedly, some six years after his release from 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid, which legalised discrimination against black people in the country.

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