Nelson Mandela’s oldest grandson, who is also a member of South Africa’s parliament, was found guilty yesterday of assaulting a motorist two years ago in the latest scandal to tarnish the Mandela family.
A magistrates’ court in Mthatha, in Eastern Cape province, heard charges brought against Mandla Mandela by a local motorist, who accused the 40- year-old of assaulting him during a road-rage incident.
“The magistrate found Mandla Mandela guilty of assault with grievous bodily harm, and acquitted him on a charge of pointing a firearm,” said Luxolo Tyali, a spokesman for the prosecution.
A pre-sentencing hearing was scheduled for early June.
Mandela, who is also the tribal chief of Mvezo village, the late Mandela’s birthplace, has been a member of parliament for the African National Congress (ANC) since 2009.
He is no stranger to controversy. In 2013, members of his family obtained a court order forcing him to exhume the remains of his grandfather’s children.
The family claimed he had dug up the graves of the icon’s children in the family gravesite in Qunu and reburied them in Mvezo without their consent.
The remains were that of Mandla’s own father, Makgatho Mandela, who died in 2005, as well as Nelson’s daughter, Makaziwe, who died as an infant in 1948 and second son, Thembekile, who passed away in 1969.
The case played out while South Africa’s first black president, who died on December 5, 2013, was still alive. It exposed ugly divisions in the family prompting entreaties of calm from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.