The rape charges against Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mbuso, have been provisionally withdrawn, pending further investigation by police.
Mandela was arrested in August last year in connection with an incident on August 7 in which he allegedly r_aped a 15-year-old girl at a Greenside bar and restaurant.
On Wednesday, Mbuso appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, where the State announced that it was provisionally withdrawing the charges because new information had been discovered relating to the incident.
Prosecutor Nadine Nel told the court that the new information needed to be probed by investigators, but also that the complainant needed time to consult with a psychiatrist to ensure she could handle the strain of a traumatic r_ape trial.
However, Mbuso’s legal team, headed by advocate Marinda Veldsman, was adamant in applying to have the case withdrawn entirely, asking that the proceedings not be allowed to be reinstated in the future.
Veldsman argued that the provisional withdrawal was an example of unreasonably delaying the trial, and that her client had been prejudiced by the restrictive bail conditions that prevented him from leaving Gauteng.
She also tried to apply for a media gag order preventing her reasoning for the application from being published or broadcast.
Magistrate Hasina Habib was unimpressed with the defence’s application, labelling Veldsman’s arguments as longwinded, overcomplicated and confusing.
The magistrate allowed the State to provisionally withdraw the charges, but ignored the defence’s application for a gag order and to prevent the case from returning.