Mandla Mandela ‘drew firearm in road rage incident’

2014-10-15 14:57

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A state witness has testified about how he saw Mandla Mandela taking his firearm from his car before pointing it at his victim in an apparent road rage incident.

Lwandile Madala was today testifying at the Mthatha Regional Court where Mandela, the eldest grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, is facing pointing-of-a-firearm and assault charges.

He said the altercation happened after he heard Mandla asking Mthatha teacher Mlamli Ngudle why he had insulted him and made reference to his mother’s private parts.

This was after Ngudle had nearly bumped into a vehicle belonging to Mandela’s associates at Mthatha’s Sprigg Street on October 5 2013.

Madala, who claimed to have seen Mandla pull out the gun from his Toyota bakkie, was put under intense cross-examination by defence council, advocate Colin Garvey.

Madala said Mandla was wielding his firearm as he approached Ngudle, who was sitting in his car.

“He pulled him out of the vehicle and assaulted him. He had a gun in his hand and was assaulting him, kicking him to the ground and trampling on him,” said Madala.

The Mvezo chief, who is also an ANC MP, looked straight at Madala as he gave evidence in court and occasionally looked down, folded his arms or touched his phone.

Wearing a navy suit, a light blue jersey and a navy tie, Mandela was flanked by his mother Nolusapho, who is acts as the regent chief while he is in Parliament.

Courtroom A was not as full as it usually is when Mandela appears in court. Some of the benches were filled by family and the chief’s supporters.

Meanwhile, under cross-examination, Madala who is the last state witness to be called, contradicted previous witnesses.

He claimed that Ngudle was alone in the car when the assault took place and that Ngudle was lying to claim that he was with a passenger.

Mandela often smiled whenever there were glaring contradictions in Madala’s testimony.

Mandela is represented by renowned divorce and criminal lawyer Billy Gundelfinger.

During breaks Mandela, who seemed relaxed and calm, could be seen chatting to his lawyers or joking with his subjects from Mvezo who had come to support him.

Among his supporters in court was abaThembu royal family chairperson Thanduxolo Mtirara, who hugged Mandela just before the proceedings started.

In May, Linda Maliwa said he was with the complainant Ngudle when Mandela allegedly assaulted him.

When asked to identify Ngudle’s alleged attacker, Maliwa told the court it was Mandela.

He testified that Ngudle almost bumped one of Mandela’s associates’ cars but maintained that the accident didn’t actually happen.

Maliwa said Mandela went to his car, took a gun from under the car seat, drew it out of the holster, cocked it and charged towards the two men.

“He grabbed Ngudle out of the car, pointing at him with the gun. He pulled him to the ground, a cement surface, where he repeatedly kicked and stomped on him,” Maliwa told the court.

The trial continues.

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