It seems she came out of nowhere to steal the heart of one of South Africa’s most powerful men. Many were surprised when gorgeous 19-year-old Anais Grimaud married Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, chief of the AmaThembu nation in the Eastern Cape.
But nobody was more taken aback than the Xhosa chief’s first wife. Thando Mabunu went to the Mthatha High Court to stop the wedding between Madiba’s grandson and the French-speaking beauty from Reunion, an island near Mauritius.
Thando demanded half their properties be turned over to her and wants half the money in her husband’s bank accounts, including one worth more than R5 million.
The furious 31-year-old postgraduate student at Rhodes University succeeded in having half the money frozen because she and Mandla, who are separated, were married in community of property in 2004. But a judge said he was free to marry his new love.
There wasn’t so much as a hint of the turmoil on the groom’s face on his wedding day. The 35-year-old couldn’t stop grinning as he waited for his makoti (bride) to join him.
Nobubele, as the bride is now known after being given a new name, seemed smitten with her husband. In these pictures, published for the first time, there’s no evidence of all the drama behind the scenes.
Thando is hurt that the wedding went ahead even though she and Mandla have been separated for a while. They were married in a lavish ceremony in 2004 and she’s entitled to half of everything they own, including money, livestock and various properties.
She’s going to go all-out to get what’s owed to her despite Mandla rejecting her claims. But when YOU asked her to elabotate she said she was “not ready to talk about it”.
Clearly she’s still reeling from this marriage that seemed to come out of the blue.