No pics allowed at Mandela grandson hearing

A stern message was issued on Friday morning to the media in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court not to take photos inside or outside the court in the matter of a struggle icon’s grandson’s appearance on charges of rape.

Magistrate Paul du Plessis reminded the media that these are preliminary investigations and ordered that no pictures be taken inside or outside the court for the purpose of identifying the parties.

The magistrate made the order after the family complained.

He said the order was made in terms of Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act 32 of 2007 which prohibits the identification of an accused person before he pleads on charges against him.

The accused made a brief appearance and seemed composed.

After this, prosecutor Komos Mbhele told the magistrate the accused was facing a Schedule 6 offence which means the onus is on him to show exceptional circumstances which would allow him to be released on bail.

A spokesman for the family of the girl said Winnie Madikizela-Mandela tried to derail a complaint.

The spokesman said that Madikizela-Mandela, the late Mandela’s divorced wife, sent her bodyguard to the 15-year-old girl’s home. The spokesman said the bodyguard posed as a policeman but had no badge.

The spokesman, who refused to allow his name to be used by any of the media, said the bodyguard then revealed that he was there on behalf of Madikizela-Mandela.

The spokesman said Madikizela-Mandela promised to ask the provincial police commissioner to handle the case. The family reported the rape when they did not hear from Madikizela-Mandela again.

Madikizela-Mandela’s office has not responded to questions.

Source: The Star