Sex was consensual, claims Mandela grandson

2015-08-21 17:09

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Johannesburg - A grandson of the late Nelson Mandela who is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl, on Friday claimed the sexual relations were consensual.

The 24-year-old suspect, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, appeared before the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday where his lawyer handed over his affidavit to the court.

While Magistrate Pieter du Plessis did not read the statements into the record, Mandela's lawyer highlighted that they believed that the girl was not underage. 

"On her Facebook [page], she claims her birthday is on 29 February 1999," said Nico Swart for Mandela.

If true, this would mean the girl was legally at an age to agree to consensual sex at the time of the alleged rape. 

Du Plessis told Swart that the court could not rely on Facebook content as evidence, and requested that the state provide the complainant's identity document at the next court appearance.

The accused is currently facing a Schedule 6 offence, deemed very serious, because the victim was thought to be underage. If it is found that she is indeed 16, the matter would be converted to Schedule 5 offence.

While Swart supplied the court with affidavits from four people, he claimed there was a fifth affidavit that he had yet to obtain from someone he said had witnessed the whole incident.

"The accused says this witness looked through the window and saw them," said Swart.

He said the police did not take a statement from the witness.

"We have spoken to him. He is an Indian immigrant. I presume he might be afraid because he is illegally in the country and he is afraid to [make] a statement to the police," Swart said. 

He requested that the court give him time to locate the witness.

The matter was postponed to August 25.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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