By Thabani Sigola
THE ex-wife of the late Zimbabwean international, Adam Ndlovu, who separated from him more than 10 years ago has mounted a heartwrenching and vicious court battle to inherit his multimillion dollar estate, court documents have revealed.
According to court documents seen by The ZimDiaspora.com, Duduzile Mpofu who is based in England, Nottingham is suing her late ex-husband’s brothers Madinda, Marko and Peter for not involving her in the execution of Adam’s estate despite having divorced the former Switzerland-based striker.
Football fans have branded Duduzile’s move as exploitation and abuse of the dead. They argue that Adam’s ex-wife was asking for undue inheritance for a child he had no access to.
Adam Ndlovu ex-wife Dudu Mpofu and his daughter in the centre of controversy
We can also reveal that Duduzile’s daughter with the late Adam has enjoyed a huge financial windfall from his insurance after being granted US$45 000.00 recently, which in essence was given to Duduzile herself as the child is less than 18.
Duduzile is now seeking to grab Adam’s mansion in Bulawayo, according to legal papers. She is also seeking for Adam’s laptops and souvenir football t-shirts. The irony is that Duduzile now has two other children with another man from Harare whom she is reportedly living with in England.
Conversely, Adam’s diaries show that at the time of his death he had spent years without access to his daughter who lives with her mum in England. A relative who cannot be named confirmed to The ZimDiaspora.com website that Adam and the whole Ndlovu family had no access to the child now in the centre of his estate. They argue that apart from timing, the legal move makes it difficult to accept the legitimacy of Duduzile’s claims as the child was not a full-fledged member of the Ndlovu family.
“What is very sad about this case is that as Ndlovu family we knew very well that Adam was being denied access to his daughter. This child was never part of Adam’s life. He was not in normal talking terms his daughter. It is very depressing to see summons over Adam’s estate, they love him when he is dead when they did not want him when he was alive. It looks like they have been waiting for him to die in order to make money,” an angry family source said.
The source added: “For Godsake we still mourning, this is so insensitive. We know that Duduzile has moved on with life because after Adam she sired two other children with a guy from Harare whom she lives with in England, so is she expecting those children to benefit from Adam’s estate?”
As result of the bizarre legal battle, the Ndlovu family has decided to postpone Adam’s memorial indefinitely. The postponement of the memorial could anger Adam's fans who were looking forward to it sometime this year.
A Highlanders football fan branded Duduzile a “shameless greedy woman” and warned that her actions risked making her Bulawayo’s worst enemy.
“We are still mourning the passing on of our hero Adam, yet she is behaving like a vulture that waits to feed on the dead. She is not even ashamed to take from another man and give to another man. She is not the right person to fight this. We know the Ndlovu family are good people there is no way they can leave out Adam’s daughter from his estate, but when she decides to mount a legal battle against a mourning family shows she is totally uncultured,” a Highlanders supporter said.
Duduzile has a 16 year-old daughter with the late Adam and is quarrelling over the right to inherit his estate. One of the sadnesses about this case is that Duduzile who filed divorce proceedings against the former Zimbabwe striker went on to have two other children with another man in England. According to documents left by the late Adam, Duduzile wrote a letter to Adam stating that she would never fight for any of his properties “all I need is that support your child”.
However, Duduzile’s endeavor is most likely to hit a brick wall because Adam also has a 22-year old daughter who is studying at a South African university. Family members have confirmed that Adam was closer to his 22-year-old daughter whom from a legal perspective may be entitled to inherit the contested estate.
The Zimbabwe Supreme Court has on many occasions passed judgments against claims from offsprings of divorced spouses, and they often justify their decision by deeming that the child would not honor her obligation to care for her original family (Adam’s family) due to her commitment to her other family. The view is that such children are most likely to be inclined to divert the estate of the deceased to the new family she relates to. In this context, Adam’s eldest child is more likely to able to honor her obligations to the Ndlovu’s family. The Zimbabwean inheritance law supports a number of analogous laws and cases, including the customary laws of the deceased's tribe and the customary laws of succession of that tribe.
Adam Ndlovu died after a tyre burst on the car in which he was travelling near Victoria Falls Airport, causing the car to leave the road and hit a tree on 16 December 2012. His brother Peter, the former Coventry City striker was critically injured. Adam was also an important member of the country’s most successful football squad, the Dream Team. He played for Highlanders, SC Kriens, SR Delémont, FC Zürich, Moroka Swallows, and Free State Stars.