Zindzi Mandela’s neighbors who stay close to her shabby mansion in Houghston have raised alarm over a tremendous influx of rats and other pests from the mansion. Houghton Estate, often simply called Houghton is a wealthy suburb of Johannesburg.
Zindzi bought the property for R2-million about 10 years ago. The abandoned house appeared in newspapers in 2014 after it emerged that Zindzi had neglected it. But, after the media report, the gate to the mansion was padlocked.
Residents said its over two years the city of Johannesburg intervened in cleaning the mansion using public fund. But, the mansion has continued to pose a great challenge to their health and otherwise. And that an estate agent who tried to sell the building was allegedly threatened by Mandela.
For years, Zindzi’s gate had remained open, paving way for vandals to come in and carry away doors and windows. However, with the continuous neglect of the ramshackle mansion, Zinzdi’s neighbors are planning to put forth complains to the South African embassy in Denmark.
Speaking, Johannesburg spokesman Virgil James said all the council could do was to issue orders to keep the house clean. He asserted that the council would seek a demolition request if the mansion continues to be neglected for specific years.
“If we request a demolition order it would take three years or more. It is the last option. It is a very lengthy process,” James responded.
In order to ward off rats, Zwinzdi’s neighbor had to build a high wall to protect his property from vandals who had severally burgled the house. Another neighbor, whose garage stands against Zindzi’s house claimed she had spent thousands of rands on pest control. She confessed that huge rats having been infesting her garage.
An elderly woman who stays close fears that her life might be endangered if a tree branch in the mansion falls on her building. “I will not survive if these trees fall [on my house] during a storm … it is very dangerous,” the woman said.
Another helpless neighbor is already struggling to sell her property at its projected value because of the pest infestation from the mansion.
“I will never get what this house is worth because of the house next door. I need to sell up and leave,” she said.
Zindzi is Mandela’s youngest daughter based in Copenhagen. She is also South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark. A post offered to her in March 2015. Reports said that Zindzi’s arrival to Denmark took months after her “tall, handsome Kenyan” love declined moving to Denmark with her. However, on June 26, it was announced that Mandela had finally taken up residence in Denmark.