Two women who say they were fathered by South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela have sought to be acknowledged by his estate, local media reported, citing an attorney dealing with his will.
The Mail & Guardian newspaper reported on Monday that family representatives of Onica Mothoa and Mpho Pule contacted Michael Katz, one of two attorneys appointed by the estate's executors to handle matters surrounding Mandela's will.
Katz confirmed on Sunday evening that he had been contacted, with Mothoa and Pule's representatives claiming both were fathered by Mandela, when he was still married to his first wife Evelyn Mase, the paper reported.
It said that investigative show, Carte Blanche, aired on M-Net TV, reported on Sunday night that the pair's lawyers approached the master of the high court to stop the division of funds, as directed by Mandela's will from his estate.
Dikgang Moseneke, the deputy chief justice, told reporters in Johannesburg last Monday that the provisional assessment of Mandela's estate was about $4.1m (46 million South African Rand).
"The amount, which excludes royalties accrued over time, is still to be verified," Moseneke said.
Not after money
The will was first written in 2004 and last amended in 2008. Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who died last December, left the estate to his wife Graca Machel, family members and the governing African National Congress (ANC).
According to the Mail & Guardian, Katz said the two women sought to be recognised by Mandela's estate, and did not seek any money.
Katz said he would meet with the executors of Mandela's estate to discuss the matter, the paper added.
During Carte Blanche's broadcast, Mothoa and Pule's relatives claimed they had in the past attempted to reach Mandela so that the former president could acknowledge he was the two women's father.
No acknowledgement occurred. He had reportedly met one of the women, the paper reported.
A legal spokesperson for the women's families told Carte Blanche that they were considering bringing an application for Mandela's DNA to be tested to show if the former president was connected to Mothoa and Pule.
The women, originally from Hammanskraal and Bloemfontein, have been in various news reports over the years claiming Mandela was their father.
Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 28 years in prison for his campaign against white minority rule, died last December at the age of 93 after battling a chronic lung infection for months.