How old is Mandela's grandson's alleged rape victim?

2015-08-25 14:18

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Johannesburg - The State and the defence argued in court on Tuesday over the age of a girl allegedly raped by a grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.

The State sought to cast doubt over allegations made by the defence team that the alleged rape victim had previously been admitted to a drug rehabilitation centre and was 16 - the legal age where one can consent for sexual intercourse.

The prosecutor in the matter on Tuesday requested that the matter be temporarily adjourned so that the investigating officer in the matter could produce an affidavit which could be submitted to the court.

The affidavit would clarify how old the girl is as a birth certificate alleged to be hers indicated that she was underage. She however, stated on her social media accounts that she was 16-years-old.

The birth certificate also had a different surname to the one used by the girl when she laid a charge against the late president's grandson.

Magistrate Pieter du Plessis granted the adjournment but informed the State that the complainant's alleged previous drug use would have no impact on the bail application at hand. He also added that social media evidence would not be admissible in court.

Mandela's grandson, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, is accused of raping the girl at a pub in Greenside on August 7.

As the trial has attracted great media interest, Mandela has asked that he be tried as a regular person.

"He does not want to be tried as a Mandela but he wants to be tried as a normal person," his lawyer, Marinda Veldsman told the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

While the 24-year-old man is yet to plead to the Schedule 6 offence he faces, he has through several affidavits indicated that the sex was consensual. He also claimed he had no idea she was underage.

Earlier, his lawyer attempted to prove extraordinary circumstances which would justify his release from custody where he has been for over a week.

Veldsman argued that Mandela had no way of knowing that his accuser was underage as the pub where the alleged incident took place had an age restriction of 21. He also claimed that the complainant was drinking and smoking with her friends in full view of him. Alcohol consumption and smoking cigarettes has an age limit of 18 in South Africa.

Mandela claimed he was not a flight risk, was unemployed and had no assets.

He said he had co-operated with the police and did not know the residential address of the witnesses.

The accused, who has fathered two children and is expecting a third, said he could pay bail of between R5 000 and R10 000.

Supporting him in court on Tuesday were several of his relatives including Makaziwe and Ndaba Mandela.

The matter continues.

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