Mandla Mandela assault case heads to trial

2014-02-24 14:31

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Not even the services of celebrity lawyer Professor Billy Gundelfinger could get Mandla Mandela off the hook in an Eastern Cape court today.

Mandla, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, appeared briefly at the Mthatha Regional Court for allegedly assaulting and pointing a firearm at teacher Mlamli Ngudle.

The alleged altercation happened on the streets of Mthatha late last year.

The case has now been set for trial from May 26 to May 28 despite desperate attempts by Mandla’s lawyers to have the matter settled out of court.

Gundelfinger confirmed to City Press that they had sought a settlement but this was not granted.

“I made representations for the state to withdraw the charges, but they decided the matter must proceed to trial,” he said outside the court.

Gundelfinger would not be drawn into discussing why the state had rejected a settlement proposal.

“The state had a choice whether they want to withdraw the charges or go on with the trial, and after the representations, they decided to proceed with the matter,” he said.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali refused to discuss the settlement issue, but told City Press the matter was “too serious” to be settled anywhere other than in a court.

“We are confident of our case against the accused person. We are ready for trial, otherwise we wouldn’t be asking for the matter to go to court,” Tyali said.

Mandla, wearing a red-and-blue striped shirt, was ordered to be in court for the trial. He was not asked to plead and is out on warning.

Mandla declined to comment.

Gundelfinger confirmed that he had taken over the Mvezo chief’s divorce case involving his estranged wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela.

Some of Gundelfinger’s most famous clients include ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, late boxer Baby Jake Matlala, kwaito star Tokollo Tshabalala, former SAA boss Khaya Ngqula, Pastor Ray McCauley and former Miss SA Peggy-Sue Khumalo.

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