Mandela's office admits he may have love child
Nelson Mandela may have fathered an illegitimate daughter during an affair with a woman he met in Cape Town in the 1940s, his foundation has admitted.
Mpho Pule spent almost 12 years battling to see the man she believed was her father, but died a month before his office wrote to say that it was close to confirming her claim.
Now, her children are continuing her fight to be recognised as the seventh child fathered by the former president of South Africa.
Verne Harris, a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said yesterday that Ms Pule's claim matched the documentary record of Mr Mandela's life, but stressed that only a DNA test would give absolute confirmation.
While the allegation that Mandela, now 92, was unfaithful while married is not new, no claim of paternity is ever known to have been confirmed.
Ms Pule, a former bakery worker and mother of six from a township near Bloemfontein, is said to have found out who her father was from her grandmother in 1998. She was told that Mandela had had a brief affair with her mother, Seipati Jane Monakali, in Cape Town in 1945, by which time he had been married to his first wife, Evelyn, for a year.
Ms Pule is reported to have repeatedly contacted the foundation in the hope of meeting her father, even writing a letter directly to Mandela.
Her calls and letters went unanswered until last October, when the foundation wrote to say it had "verified" the information she had sent it and asked her to get in contact.
But Ms Pule had died of a stroke a month earlier, aged 63.
Her family is now waiting to hear from Mandela's daughter, Zindzi, who is said to be handling the claim. (© Daily Telegraph, London)