Teacher may sue Mandla Mandela over assault

2015-06-07 15:07
Former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla appeared in the Mthatha Magistrates’ Court on assault charges. Picture: MUNTU VILAKAZI

Former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla appeared in the Mthatha Magistrates’ Court on assault charges. Picture: MUNTU VILAKAZI

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While Mlamli Ngudle (45) sat alone in the back of the Mthatha Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Mandla Mandela (41) sat up front in the dock, surrounded by a large entourage of supporters and high-powered lawyers, making it hard to figure out who was the victim and who was the offender.

High school geography teacher Ngudle was dressed simply in a white shirt and navy trousers, while Mandela – the oldest grandson of the late former president Nelson Mandela – was decked out in a black suit.

And while Ngudle, a father of three, sat quietly, Mandla held court – chatting to his elegant mother, Nolusapho, during adjournments, giggling with Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s younger sibling, Mankunku, looking at his iPad to read tweets by journalists from court, and sometimes talking on his phone.

Even their reactions to Mandela’s R10 000 fine or two-year jail sentence for assaulting Ngudle in October 2013 in a road rage altercation differed markedly. While Ngudle was the picture of defeat, Mandela looked straight at Magistrate Noluthando Conjwa, showing only slight signs of worry.

But Ngudle indicated in an exclusive interview with City Press on Wednesday that he was far from cowed.

While acknowledging that he was bitterly disappointed with Mandela’s light sentence, he said he was considering suing Mandela, an ANC MP.

“If you check, this is a sale of the justice system now. It means as far as you can afford to pay, the court will acquit you by imposing a fine instead of a jail term. I am very disappointed. I don’t see any justice because it means if I am a millionaire, I can buy every case,” Ngudle said.

He is now looking into exploring other avenues to seek justice for his injuries.

“I have been injured and these injuries are visible. Mandla is responsible for them and was found guilty. So yes, I am seriously considering a civil claim. It’s a normal practice, especially for someone who feels hard done by by the entire process,” Ngudle said.

He accused Mandela of lying in court by painting him as an arrogant alcoholic, which had tainted his good standing in society.

“The fact that I was stomped on and kicked by Mandla in public degraded me, and reduced my image as a man and father. I am really not satisfied with how things have gone. Mandla should have been sent to jail like all criminals.”

He said Mandela’s assault had left his family “constantly worried” and his children – aged eight, nine and 21 – a “laughing stock”.

“My children are embarrassed about their father, who was beaten in town in front of everybody. They are a laughing stock in the community and at school. My wife can’t stop crying when this matter comes up. They hate the whole thing. I have spent lots of money on medical bills and am yet to go back to work since the incident,” he said.

During his trial, Mandela claimed to have hit Ngudle in self-defence after the Mditshwa Senior Secondary School teacher almost hit a car belonging to potential investors, with whom Mandela was having lunch.

Mandela also claimed Ngudle was drunk and had sworn at him.

Mandela declined to comment on Ngudle’s intentions to sue him, and his lawyer, Billy Gundelfinger, was unavailable for comment.

Read more on:    mandla mandela

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