MANDLA Mandela’s lawyer yesterday refuted claims that the ANC MP is not the legitimate father of six-month-old Qheya Mandela.
Attorney Gary Jansen, who is representing Mandela in his bitter divorce battle with his estranged first wife, rubbished yesterday’s media reports that little Qheya’s mother, Anais Grimaud, had taken him and fled the country following an argument between the two.
The Herald’s sister paper, the Daily Dispatch, had reported that Grimaud had informed Mandela he was not her son’s biological father and that she had left him.
Jansen said: "There is absolutely no truth to this. It is false reporting. I have spoken to [Mandela], who confirmed that it is not true.”
Jansen said it boiled down to malicious rumours and that the subject should have been treated with caution due to the fact that it involved a child.
"It is actually not a subject for the media or public at all,” he added.
Mandela, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, married 21-year-old Grimaud in a lavish traditional ceremony in the Eastern Cape two years ago.
The two went ahead with the wedding despite a court interdict sought by Mandela’s first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, prohibiting them from doing so.
The Mthatha High Court later annulled the marriage, but the two continued to live together at Mvezo Great Place in Mthatha as husband and wife.
More than a year later, Grimaud gave birth to Qheya.
Earlier this year, Mandela opened a First National Bank trust account in Qheya’s name. Then, in April, at about the time the Dispatch alleged Grimaud had fled, Mandela allegedly deposited more than R5-million into his son’s account.
A source close to the case said Mandela would not have done so if he doubted he was the child’s father.
The Herald was also able to establish there were no records that Mandela had ever taken his young son to the Mthatha laboratory for paternity testing.
Unless there is a court order from a magistrate ordering the DNA testing, both parents need to be present at the hospital.
Maintenance lawyer Fawzia Khan said if DNA testing was conducted to establish the paternity of a child, this was usually done through a court of law. The testing was then conducted in the court’s jurisdiction.
Khan said a father contesting paternity would need to go to the maintenance court in order to obtain a court order.
"If it is done privately without the court order, this will not exempt a parent from paying maintenance,” she said.
Khan said it was therefore advisable for the matter to be handled in court.