‘Mandla Mandela was ready to shoot me’

2014-05-26 18:13

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The Mthatha Regional Court heard for the first time how Mandla Mandela, the grandson of late former president Nelson Mandela, allegedly pointed a firearm at a man while beating him to a pulp.

Mlamli Ngudle, a geography teacher, took the stand today and told Magistrate Noluthando Conjwa how he covered his head with his arms as the Mvezo chief allegedly kicked and stomped him into the ground.

“My head was hitting against a rough cement surface. I covered my head using my arms. He was kicking me all over my head,” Ngudle said.

He said the incident of October 5 2013 started when he nearly bumped into a white BMW X5 driven by Mandla’s associates at Sprigg in Mthatha.

He said, as he was trying to reverse his car, he heard somebody hurling insults about how he had nearly bumped into the other car.

“As I listened to this person, he approached the car. He told me I was driving [shit] and grabbed my car keys. I then insulted him, calling him by his mother’s private parts.

“He asked if I knew his mother Nolusapho [Mandla’s mother]. He ran to his car. He grabbed a firearm from underneath the car seat. He cocked [it] and was ready to shoot and pointing at me, coming towards me. It was Mr Mandela I had realised at that stage.

“He pulled me out of the car as I was still sitting on driver’s seat. He then kicked me and stomped me as I lay on the ground,” Ngudle told the court.

Mandla, sitting in the dock, listened carefully and often stared directly at Ngudle.

Mandla, dressed in a navy suit, a white shirt and navy tie, was flanked in court by his mother and Mandela family elder, Napilisi Mandela.

Mandla, who was sworn in as an MP last week, showed no visible emotion.

Ngudle was taken to task about his evidence by defence attorney, Collen Garvey, who pointed to discrepancies in his evidence-in-chief and what he later told the court in cross-examination, as well as the first statement he made to police three days after the incident.

Garvey asked why he had failed to mention that he was kicked in his first statement made on October 8, when the incident was still fresh in his mind, as he had claimed in his evidence-in-chief when asked by state prosecutor, Jongikhaya Bhusakhwe.

Ngudle blamed police, who took his statement as he gave it in Xhosa, for omitting some elements when translating it into English.

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