Nelson Mandela's long-time friend and lawyer George Bizos will fight an attempt by the anti-apartheid icon's daughters to oust him from the board of Mandela companies, his lawyer said today.
Bizos, who defended Mandela in a 1960s treason trial and successfully opposed his death sentence, will reject accusations that he forced his way on the boards of two Mandela investment funds worth an estimated $1.7 million.
Two daughters of ailing 94-year-old Mandela, Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, filed papers earlier this week asking a court to remove Bizos, Tokyo Sexwale, a cabinet minister and Mandela's ex-lawyer Bally Chuene from the boards.
The children claim that the three were never appointed as shareholders or directors of Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings, but the three men argue that Mandela explicitly asked them to help manage that portion of his estate.
The unseemly row comes just days after 94-year-old Mandela was released from hospital, where he was treated from pneumonia, and has scandalised South Africa.