Mandla Mandela: ‘Why can’t they just arrest him?’
Dad fumes at ‘preferential treatment’ for Mandla
Mandla Mandela is due to give a statement to Mthatha police today after being charged with pointing a firearm at, and assaulting, a man in the Eastern Cape town.
Mandela, an ANC MP, chief of Mvezo and Nelson Mandela’s grandson, was supposed to be interviewed and charged by police on Friday, but he proved a difficult man to pin down.
The alleged violent incident happened in Sprigg Street, Mthatha, last Saturday.
Mlamli Ngudle (44) is said to have bumped into a car driven by one of Mandela’s business associates.
In a statement after City Press broke the story on its website, Mandela denied assaulting Ngudle or pointing a firearm at him.
“We note media reports that a case has been opened against me, allegedly for brandishing a gun against another person. I want to deny outright these allegations,” said Mandela.
“At no point did I or any of my guests pull a gun as alleged.”
Mandela also alleged Ngudle was drunk, refused to exchange personal details and hurled insults at him.
Three independent police sources told City Press that Mandela was meant to meet the investigating officers at Sprigg Street. But he changed the venue to the Mthatha Airport to avoid the media.
Police went to the airport, but Mandela did not pitch up.
Mandela’s lawyer, Advocate Matthew Mpahlwa said his client was cooperating with the police.
He would not comment on why Mandela kept changing meeting venues.
“I have arranged with the police for them to obtain a warning statement from my client today. We are cooperating with the police,” said Mpahlwa.
He said they were considering laying countercharges against the complainant, but did not want to give further details.
Meanwhile, Ngudle’s family was spitting fire at what they described as “preferential treatment” by police towards Mandela.
Ngudle’s father, Lindile Ngudle, asked: “Why can’t they just arrest him like they do other people? I don’t understand why police have to chase Mandla around. I see no reason for them to allow this thing to happen. We want to see justice.”
He was also part of the cat-and- mouse game on Friday – he followed the police around, because he wanted to ensure Mandela would be charged.
“I wanted to see them charge him, but I can see they have been sent from pillar to post.
“We were there at Sprigg (Street). He did not show up. We are here at the airport. He is nowhere to be seen. Where does he get the authority to order police around?”
Ngudle was not with his father and refused to speak to the media.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said he did not want to be drawn into the saga.
“All I know is that we have assigned investigating officers to the case. Mandla will be arrested if a need arises.
“I don’t want to comment on him playing cat and mouse with the police. I don’t know that and I don’t want to be part of that.
“If and when the time comes for him to be arrested, he will. He will then go to court and answer to the charges.”
Fatyela could not say when Mandela would be arrested or if he would be arrested at all.
“I know there are negotiations between Mandla’s lawyers and the police. I cannot get into the details of that. But I can assure you there is no preferential treatment for anybody here,” said the lieutenant colonel.
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