‘Teacher tried to extort millions from Mandla Mandela’

2014-10-15 17:23

Mlamli Ngudle, the teacher who claims Mandla Mandela assaulted him after a road rage incident, allegedly tried to extort millions from the accused.

Mandela’s lawyer advocate Colin Garvey today told the Mthatha Regional Court that the Mvezo chief must be discharged due to the poor evidence led by the state.

“Mr Mandela is a well-known person. The court must put an end to the pain and suffering of Mr Mandela. Mr Ngudle was even claiming millions of money from Mr Mandela because he is attractive to people who want to make such claims,” said Garvey.

“Your worship should put an end to this matter now. The evidence is of such poor quality that the court cannot find Mr Mandela guilty. The state witnesses contradicted each other many times that the court would find difficulty in choosing which version to rely on or which witness was reliable,” he said after the state had concluded its case shortly after the lunch break.

“The state has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, which in this case they haven’t. I am making an application on behalf of the accused that he be discharged on this matter,” he said.

Garvey said Mandela had a right not to testify and to remain silent so that he does not incriminate himself.

“There is no need for Mr Mandela to come and testify before this court and say the same things that have been said in the hope that the state would catch him up on a technically in order to get a conviction. “The state has failed to prove that the injury to Mr Ngudle was caused by Mr Mandela. The state’s own witnesses cannot dispute our own version,” said Garvey.

He said his client’s version was that Mandela had slapped Ngudle because he was trying to ward off an imminent attack from him and denied ever kicking and stomping on him.

He also disputed that Mandela had fetched the firearm from underneath his car seat as it had been alleged by some of the state witnesses, arguing that Mandela had had the gun with him all along.

He said because Mandela was a gun licence holder, he wouldn’t leave the gun underneath a car seat as this was not only reckless and careless but also illegal.

Garvey said the credibility of state witnesses who contradicted each other, especially the last witness Lwandile Madala, who seemed to be contradicting all the other witnesses should be considered.

Senior state prosecutor Jongikhaya Busakhwe opposed the application, saying Mandela had a case to answer.

He argued that the contradictions were not of serious nature to warrant Mandela to be discharged.

“For example there are no contradictions in as far as the pointing of a firearm. There might me contradictions relating to the assault but it does not mean he must not come and explain,” he said.

On the argument that Mandela was avoiding an imminent attack, Busakhwe said this could not be the case because Mandela was the one who approached Ngudle.

Magistrate Noluthando Conjwa said she needed time to consider the matter and would give her decision at noon tomorrow.

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