‘Drop Mandela crash charge’

2010-11-24 09:47

Defence counsel for Sizwe Mankazana, the driver of the car in which Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter was killed, wants to convince the state to drop a murder charge against him.

“The defence is not happy with the murder charge,” state prosecutor Rodger Mareume told the Johannesburg Magistrates Court today.

The case was postponed to January 28 to allow the defence to make a submission in this regard to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“The DPP will probably respond by the end of this week and if the defence is not happy [with the response] they can make a submission to the National director of Public Prosecutions.”

The prosecutor and the defence counsel referred to a state psychiatrist’s report during the hearing which according to Mareume “will determine the effect of excessive consumption of alcohol on [the accused’s] mental capacity”.

Mareume assured reporters that the psychiatrist’s report was just a “general psychiatrist’s report” and not a “specific report”.

Defence advocate, Kenny Oldwadge, said “we would like to place on record that the psychiatrist did not meet with my client”.

Mareume would not provide more details on the relevance of the report saying “we will have to wait until the next court appearance... but I think the defence is trying to ask the state that the report not be used to prove that his client is mentally ill”.

Mankazana was originally facing a drunken driving charge and a culpable homicide charge, but the latter was later converted to murder.

He was driving the car when it overturned and killed 13-year-old Zenani Mandela on their way back from a 2010 Fifa World Cup concert.

She was the great-granddaughter of Nelson Mandela.

His daughter Zindzi Mandela, whose mother is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was Zenani’s grandmother.

Her death prevented the world anti-apartheid icon from attending the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

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