Mandela still MIA

2012-02-20 16:07

Police in Bityi near Mthatha are still waiting for Thembu chief and Member of Parliament Mandla Mandela to give a statement related to bigamy charges lodged with police by his estranged wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela.

Mandela was expected to report to police this afternoon but hadn’t done so by the time police officers working the case had left for the day.

Bigamy is the act of entering into marriage with someone while still married to another person.

The charges relate to his customary wedding celebrations on Christmas eve despite a court interdict against the marriage to Mbalenhle Makhathini, now Nodiyala Mandela.

Mabunu-Mandela sought the court order on the grounds that Mandela could not marry until their divorce was finalised.

The couple has been in the process of divorce since 2009, after four years of marriage.

This past weekend a bungle between police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) resulted in news being released that a warrant of arrest was issued for Mandela after he had failed to show up for a similar meeting last Thursday.

An NPA spokesperson said Mandela was expected to give his statement to police or a district court in Mthatha today.

Police spokesperson for the area, Mzukisi Fatyela, could not immediately be reached for comment, but a senior officer close to the investigation said that Mandela had once again failed to show up. “He did not show today, but all we said to his lawyers is that he must avail himself as soon as possible. There are no time frames for him to do that.

“It’s not that urgent, but ultimately he must give us a statement. The prosecutor still has to decide whether the case will be pursued in court or not,” said the officer.

Neither Mandela nor his family could be reached.

Meanwhile Mandela is expected to reveal, in court papers, whether there was any truth to reports that he had sold the rights to the funeral of his grandfather, Nelson Mandela, for R3 million.

Mabunu-Mandela’s legal representatives were last week granted an order by the Mthatha High Court which compels Mandla Mandela to answer under oath.

Should it turn out the rights were sold, Mabunu-Mandela is expected to claim her half of the monies. She has said she intends to either donate it to the Mandelas or to charity.

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