hile Mlamli Ngudle (45) sat alone in the back of the Mthatha Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Mandla Mandela (41) sat up front in the dock, surrounded by a large entourage of supporters and high-powered lawyers, making it hard to figure out who was the victim and who was the offender.
High school geography teacher Ngudle was dressed simply in a white shirt and navy trousers, while Mandela – the oldest grandson of the late former president Nelson Mandela – was decked out in a black suit.
And while Ngudle, a father of three, sat quietly, Mandla held court – chatting to his elegant mother, Nolusapho, during adjournments, giggling with Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s younger sibling, Mankunku, looking at his iPad to read tweets by journalists from court, and sometimes talking on his phone.
Even their reactions to Mandela’s R10 000 fine or two-year jail sentence for assaulting Ngudle in October 2013 in a road rage altercation differed markedly. While Ngudle was the picture of defeat,