The State has provisionally withdrawn all rape charges leveled against Nelson Mandela’s grandson.
The withdrawal is to allow the State to carry out further investigation into the matter.
Mandela’s grandson had been on trial for charges of rape‚ attempted rape and sexual assault on a 15-year-old. He was accused of assaulting a teenage girl in an alley outside a restaurant in Greenside‚ Johannesburg‚ on August 7 last year.
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In his application for bail‚ he admitted to having sex with the girl but said it was with her full consent. He also added that he was under the impression that she was more than 16 years old.
In a statement, State prosecutor Nadine Nel said the State was making sure the complainant could stand to go through a trial. They were consulting with a psychiatrist to help in the assessment.
“We need to act in the best interest of our client‚” said Nel.
The defence party wanted the matter to be struck off the roll completely, but magistrate Hasina Habib‚ presiding over the case at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court‚ said striking the issue off the roll did not mean the charges would be withdrawn.
South Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindi Louw said the charges were only provisionally withdrawn due to emergence of new information, this does not mean Mandela will not have his day in court.
“We believe that the accused still has a case to answer to. But new information has emerged that requires further investigation and so rather (asking) to postpone the matter‚ we have decided to provisionally withdraw (the charges)‚” Louw said.
The 24 year-old Mandela’s grandson submitted an authorised affidavit with reasons why he believed the case should be struck off the roll.
One of his reasons is not being able to go on holiday during the festive season due to the conditions attached to his bail.
He challenged the media entities that had quickly published his name and pictures without waiting for him to plead before the court.
The law provides for him to remain anonymous until he has pleaded because of the nature of the charges.
The Mandela youngster was released on bail of R7‚000 on August 25 last year on the conditions that he lives at the residential address he provided to the investigating officer‚ which is the late Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home and also report to the police in Norwood twice a week.