Grave tampering, bigamy: Mandla Mandela off the hook

2013-11-19 11:12

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided not to pursue the cases of bigamy and grave tampering against Mandla Mandela, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.

Luxolo Tyali, the NPA’s Mthatha regional communications manager, confirmed to City Press this morning that it had decided against prosecution in the two cases.

“The reason on both cases is simple, it’s because there is no sufficient evidence that is admissible in court to secure a conviction,” Tyali said.

He said all the parties in the case had been informed of the decision, which was made on Monday (yesterday).

“Our decision was based on whether the evidence before us was admissible in court and we felt it wasn’t,” Tyali said.

He said the NPA was still considering Mandla’s other case, that of assault and pointing of a firearm and a decision was imminent.

The bigamy case against the Mvezo chief relates to a charge laid by his estranged first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, when Mandla married his third wife, Mbalentle Makhathini in 2011.

The case was opened at the Bityi Police Station in 2011.

He married Anais Grimaud, from Reunion, the previous year despite the fact that his divorce to Mabunu-Mandela had not yet being finalised.

Mabunu-Mandela’s lawyer, Wesley Hayes, who also represents the Mandela family in the grave tampering case against Mandla was not immediately available for comment.

The grave tampering case was opened by Mandla’s aunt, Makaziwe, and several family members after the Mvezo chief – who is also an ANC MP – dug up the graves of three of Madiba’s children from a family gravesite in Qunu and reburied them in Mvezo.

He had done so without the family’s consent.

In June, Makaziwe and 15 other family members took Mandla to court to force him to return the remains.

The court ruled against Mandla and the remains were reburied in Qunu at Madiba’s farm along the N2 highway between Mthatha and East London.

Mandla could not be reached for comment.

His lawyer, Advocate Matthew Mpahlwa, said: “We are pleased the NPA has applied its mind to the case. The law has taken its course and due processes have been followed. My client [Mandla] is relieved,” Mpahlwa said.

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