The families of two women who have sought to be recognised as children of Nelson Mandela have contacted the executors of the will of the anti-apartheid leader, but are not seeking money, a lawyer said yesterday.
Michael Katz, a lawyer for the executors, said he had received an attorney's letter citing the women's claims, and that he would discuss the matter with the executors, who revealed details of the US$4.1 million will last week.
"They made the claim that they are descendants of Madiba," Katz said, using Mandela's clan name. "They indicated that this wasn't a monetary claim."
Allegations that Mandela had dalliances in the 1940s and 50s outside his marriage to his first wife, Evelyn Mase, have circulated for years. Mandela died on December 5 at the age of 95. His estate will be shared between his family, members of his staff, schools that he attended and the African National Congress.
One woman seeking recognition as Mandela's daughter, Onica Mothoa, said she did not care about his inheritance but wanted to be acknowledged and had taken a DNA test in hopes of proving her claim, reported The Star, a South African newspaper.
The other woman, 63-year-old Mpho Pule, died from a stroke in 2009 after trying in vain to contact Mandela, the Mail and Guardian newspaper reported in 2010.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation says Mandela had six children, and three died. It does not mention Mothoa and Pule in a genealogy.
"I know the Mandela family have always believed that I was being opportunistic because I wanted a share in the inheritance. That's not true. I just want them to acknowledge that Mandela is my father," The Star quoted Mothoa, who is in her 60s, as saying.