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Mandela's business: centre of power struggle

LEGACY: Mandela's estate is under dispute

TWO OF Nelson Mandela’s daughters have filed legal papers to remove his lawyer from the boards of two companies.

Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Mandela-Dlamini have launched the move to remove Nelson’s close friend George Bizos from two Mandela-related investment funds.

The developments signal a power struggle is taking place over the former South African president's wealth.

Bizos, a renowned human rights lawyer, defended Mandela against a possible death penalty in 1964 and made a small contribution to his celebrated "I am prepared to die" statement from the dock.

It has been reported that Makaziwe, founder of the House of Mandela wine label, and Zenani, the South African ambassador to Argentina, produced the legal documents just two days after their father was discharged from hospital, recovering from pneumonia.

The court has been asked to oust Bizos, cabinet minister Tokyo Sexwale and Mandela's former-lawyer, Bally Chuene, accusing them of forcing their way onto the boards of Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings.

The holdings were set up to store the money generated from the sale of Mandela’s handprints – inspired by his imprisonment on Robben Island - for the benefit of his family.

The sisters claim that none of the three men were appointed as shareholders or directors of the companies.

However, all three men strongly deny the allegations.

"There is no basis to the allegations," Bizos, 84, told South Africa's Star newspaper.

"We are not hijackers. We don't hijack things. The public should ask themselves why five years later these allegations are being laid.

"We are confident we were regularly appointed at the wish of Mr Mandela five years ago."

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