Cape Town, South Africa - Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel has been granted 90 days to decide whether she will waive her right to half of his estate, following the release of the global icon’s will on Monday.
This was confirmed by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who read the will. The provisional assessment of Mandela's estate was about US$4.6 million.
“The marriage between former president Mandela and Mrs Machel was in community of property,” he said, explaining that when a couple was married in community of property they were entitled to 50 percent of the estate if one of the partner's die.
“She may opt to have exactly half of the estate. It's an election that needs to happen in 90 days... that's still pending,” Moseneke said.
Should Machel waive her right to 50% of the will, she will receive numerous items specified in it, including three houses, several cars and jewellery.
He said Machel had not yet given her decision.
While Machel is widely credited for the support she gave Mandela in his twilight years (they married on his 80th birthday), Mandela’s previous wife Winnie has been completely excluded from his inheritance.
She is only mentioned in the parts of the will made public in relation to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mandela and Winnie were divorced after an acrimonious split in the 1990 when she unsuccessfully sued for half of his estate which was then valued at about US$2 million.