Johannesburg – Former president Nelson Mandela’s children and grandchildren are currently active in more than 110 companies, according to company information, it was reported on Monday.
Their wealth was held in a network of at least 24 trusts established by Ismail Ayob, the family’s former lawyer, Beeld reported.
Some of the trusts owned several expensive properties in Johannesburg’s upmarket neighbourhoods.
Makaziwe Mandela’s 3 575m² house in Hyde Park, for example, was owned by the Makaziwe M Trust and, according to the latest property valuation, was worth about R13.6-million.
However, it was virtually impossible to determine the full extent of the Mandela family’s wealth and interests, because of the network of trusts in which the assets were held, as well as the lack of public documentation providing information.
The most recognisable Mandela entrepreneurs were his granddaughters, Zaziwe and Zamaswazi (Swati) Dlamini, who had a reality show on TV and had also launched a Mandela clothing range.
Grandson Zondwa Mandela was recently in the news because of his involvement with President Jacob Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma and their association with the controversial Aurora mine.
Company information showed the Mandela children and grandchildren had, over the past two decades, been involved in about 200 companies extending over a wide range of sectors – including real estate, investments, railway engineering, minerals, medical firms, fashion, and entertainment.
Makaziwe, Mandela’s eldest daughter, was an active director in 16 companies, including the South African subsidiary of the Swiss multinational food giant Nestlé, a shopping centre in Kimberley, two railway engineering companies, and four companies apparently engaged in mineral exploration.
Zenani Dlamini, Mandela’s other daughter and currently South Africa’s ambassador to Argentina, was an active director of nine companies.
She was previously associate director of a company with Clinton Nassif, who was implicated in the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble.
Zondwa Mandela, Khulubuse Zuma, and Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley were co-directors in Labat Africa.
The three were, at one stage, directors of the Aurora mine, but Hulley had since resigned.
Nandi Mandela, Mandela’s granddaughter, was a co-director in the city planning company Linda Masinga & Associates, which according to the company’s website, had completed numerous municipal contracts for municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
According to Beeld, Nelson Mandela himself did not possess many assets registered in his own name.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation Trust in 2012 paid R2.9m to “The Founder”, slightly more than the R2.8m of the previous year.
As a former president, Nelson Mandela also receives a lifelong presidential pension.