MBUSO MANDELA TRIAL ‘My daughter was raped’
Madiba’s troubled grandson says sex was consensual. Club staff say the two behaved like lovers
The father of the teenage schoolgirl allegedly raped by Mbuso Mandela (24) has spoken of his pain and says he hopes that the last name of his daughter’s alleged attacker won’t lend him any special treatment.
The furious father told City Press this week that his entire family was left devastated by his daughter’s ordeal, allegedly brought upon her by late former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson outside a restaurant toilet.
“My daughter is not doing well at all. My whole family is not coping with what happened,” he told City Press on Friday.
On Tuesday, Mbuso Mandela – who revealed on his charge sheet that he stays at the well-known Houghton home where his grandfather used to live – will formally apply for bail. His success will hinge largely on the age of his accuser.
Mbuso, whose lawyer claimed in court on Friday that the sex was consensual and that his alleged victim was 16 years old, is charged with a schedule 6 offence. This requires him to prove extraordinary circumstances that justify his release on bail from Johannesburg Central Prison – where he spent the past week.
However, if his victim is 16, his charge could be reduced to a schedule 5 offence, which would make his bid for bail far easier. Mbuso’s lawyer, Advocate Nico Swart, told the court: “On her Facebook [page], she claims her birthday is on February 29 1999.”
However, the girl’s father insists she is only 15, and she does not yet have an identity document.
Magistrate Pistorius du Plessis of the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court ruled on Friday that a copy of the alleged victim’s identity book be provided on Tuesday to prove the girl’s age.
“My daughter doesn’t even have an ID; she only has a birth certificate. She was born in 2000, and she definitely is 15 years old,” the father said.
“I have always heard about rape, but once it hits a person close to you, you realise it’s a painful thing that you don’t wish on anyone.
“I’m just praying that this case will be treated like any other rape case,” he said.
However, a source close to the prosecution told City Press that Mbuso was being held in a single cell in Johannesburg Central Prison, unlike other remand prisoners, who are placed in crowded communal cells. Correctional services spokesperson Logan Maistry declined to comment, saying only “we do not release such information to the public”.
A source close to the Mandela family told City Press that Mbuso and his accuser were in a relationship when she accompanied him and a group of her friends to the Mammas Shebeen in the trendy Johannesburg suburb of Greenside earlier this month.
However, a source close to the prosecution told City Press the girl wrote in her statement to police that she had “friendzoned” Mbuso – telling him she wanted only a platonic relationship with him – and that he had refused to accept this.
“In her affidavit, the girl claims she thought she was just friends with Mbuso. But she feels he betrayed her on August 7, when the incident occurred,” the source said.
However, a waitress at the restaurant who was working that night, who asked not to be named because staff had been instructed not to speak to the media, told City Press she saw the two very close to each other outside the toilets where the rape is alleged to have taken place.
“They were cosy the entire night and didn’t look like just friends at all,” she said.
The owner of Mammas Shebeen, who identified himself only as Yaw, insists the alleged rape did not take place inside his establishment, and the furore around it had “compromised” his business.
The area in which it allegedly occurred is at the rear of the restaurant, which is also the entrance to the flats above.
On Friday night, a security guard was posted there and allowed nobody to loiter in the area.
Other sources at the restaurant – which has a large sign overhead saying “strictly no under 21s” – said the teenage girl was a regular there. The manager said that earlier this year, the girl was stopped at the entrance and produced an identity document that indicated she was 18 years old.
Meanwhile, prosecution sources say that this is not Mbuso’s first brush with trouble.
Sources close to the family and the prosecution told City Press that, in December, Mbuso was involved in a car accident with one of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s grandchildren in the early hours of the morning after a party. Mbuso’s Polo vehicle was a write-off, but the accident was not reported to the police.
Mbuso was also widely reported to have had an affair with Réunion-born Anais Grimaud, the former wife of his eldest brother, Mandla. Mandla had introduced Anais’ son, a boy named Qheya Zanethemba, to Nelson Mandela as his own son.
The traditional marriage of Anais, who was Mandla’s second wife, fell apart after paternity tests were conducted. She then returned to the French Indian Ocean island with her baby.
This week, Mbuso was supported in court by his aunt Makaziwe, cousin Ndileka and second-eldest brother, Ndaba. Mbuso was orphaned at the age of 14 when his father, Makgatho, died in 2005 of an Aids-related illness. His mother, Zondi, died some years earlier.
Last week, Sunday Sun reported that Mbuso’s step-grandmother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, spoke to the alleged victim’s father, asking for some time to hand her grandson over to the police.
The newspaper reported that the two families met at Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto. The father claimed that Madikizela-Mandela’s body guards had called him pretending to be police officers, and another family member reportedly said that the Mandelas were “trying to tell the victim’s mum not to press charges”.
PUBLIC EYE Mbuso Mandela, a grandson of late former SA president Nelson Mandela, outside his
grandfather’s former residence in Johannesburg. Mbuso has appeared in court charged with the alleged rape of a girl thought
to be 15 years old