Mandla Mandela to be sentenced for road rage assault

2015-06-02 14:18
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Mandla Mandela will know tomorrow whether he is going to jail for assaulting Mthatha teacher, Mlamli Ngudle, in a road rage incident in 2013.

Mthatha Magistrate Noluthando Conjwa – after listening to arguments for and against mitigation of sentence this morning – adjourned the matter until tomorrow morning.

“I need to consider the arguments from both sides ...” she said.

Conjwa found Mandla (40) guilty of assault with intent to do grievous body harm in March.

He was acquitted on the other charge of pointing a firearm.

In arguing for a harsh sentence which includes imprisonment, state prosecutor Mtutuzeli Rangula said the chief of the Mvezo traditional council deserved to go to prison.

Rangula argued that Mandla, as a Member of Parliament (MP) and chief, should have known better and ought to have tried to resolve the quarrel with Ngudle peacefully and in a dignified manner.

“Instead you chose to take the law into your own hands. You assaulted the complainant despite his pleas. That is an indication of someone who has no respect for the law. But no one is above the law.

“We expect better from a person such as an MP and chief, who knows the laws of this country very well,” he said.

But the state was not done, and accused the eldest grandson of late former president Nelson Mandela of bringing shame to the icon’s good name.

“The accused shares a good name, that of the Mandelas. His conduct on the day in question is contrary to the former state president, who was known for his peaceful resolutions and amicable solutions,” Rangula said.

He said direct imprisonment was the most appropriate sentence in order to send a message that “even if you carry the name of Mandela, you cannot commit a crime and just get off with a fine”.

Meanwhile Advocate Deon Pool, representing Mandla, asked the court to be more lenient because his client had suffered enough in the cause of the trial and the media spotlight on Mandla during the trial had humiliated him.

He also said Mandla was a first time offender and a good contributor in his community, citing the building of the Mvezo School of Science and Technology, a primary school and the creation of jobs in his village as mitigating factors.

Pool said the sentencing of Mandla should be weighed against the interests of his community which was benefiting a lot because of his influence and brand.

He said the altercation was a spur of the moment incident which should have been handled better. But he called on the court to consider the provocation by the complainant who allegedly insulted Mandla by making reference to his mother’s private parts.

Pool asked the court to caution Mandla or fine him with a suspended sentence.

Mandla – who was accompanied by his mother Nolusapho and family elder Napilisi – showed little emotion as he stared into space throughout the proceedings.

Read more on:    mandla mandela  |  road rage

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