Mandela warrant confirmed

2012-02-22 00:00

IT took three days, but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has finally confirmed that police issued a warrant of arrest for MP Mandla Mandela last week in connection with the bigamy charge he faces.

This after Weekend Witness reported on Saturday that a warrant was issued, but not executed. For the next two days the NPA and police gave contradictory information to the media. Only after The Witness published a copy of the warrant of arrest and sent copies to the NPA on Monday with a request for clarification was a statement issued a day later.

Yesterday Eastern Cape NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the prosecuting authority wanted to clear up “the misunderstanding that arose in the media concerning the warrant of arrest, which painted a false picture that the NPA was denying the existence of the warrant”.

Tyali said the NPA had consistently stated it was unaware of the warrant because it had not issued or signed it.

In terms of the Criminal Procedure Act a warrant of arrest could be issued by police without the knowledge of prosecutors or a magistrate, and that was the case with the Mandela warrant of arrest.

The SA Police Service in the Eastern Cape yesterday confirmed a Witness report that a warrant of arrest was in fact issued against Mandela, but was later withdrawn and a warning statement was obtained from him.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sibo­ngile Soci said in a statement yesterday the docket would be submitted to the senior public prosecutor to decide whether to prosecute Mandela.

Mandela’s lawyer told The Witness that an agreement was reached that he would appear in court in early March, and the case would be postponed for further investigation. — WR.

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