Mbuso Mandela, the 24-year-old grandson of Nelson Mandela, has been arrested and charged with raping a 15-year-old girl in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former South African President’s ex-wife, is accused of attempting to cover up the incident in order to protect her grandson.
Reports Yahoo News on Aug. 18: “Mbuso appeared at Johannesburg magistrate’s court and has been remanded in custody. He awaits trial for the alleged rape which is said to have taken place on 7 August. Police in Johannesburg said the incident took place in Greenside, a suburb of South Africa’s most populous city, which boasts a number of popular bars and restaurants.”
Mandela allegedly grabbed the minor girl as she was entering a restaurant bathroom and forcibly raped her inside of one of the stalls. His bail hearing has been set for Friday.
According to Africa’s Daily Sun, Mandela’s second wife Winnie, after hearing of the alleged rape, sent one of her personal bodyguards to the home where the 15-year-old lived, in order to “intimidate” the family and prevent them from reporting the incident to authorities.
“Winnie’s bodyguard went to the family pretending to be a cop,” a family spokesperson told the Daily Sun. “The father was told there was no need to arrest the suspect but when the father asked to see his badge, he didn’t have one. It turned out he had been sent by Winnie.”
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela also reportedly told police, after the incident came to light, that she would escort her son to the local magistrate, and would also hold a press conference to discuss the allegations. However, police were forced to arrest Mbuso, and the press conference has yet to be held.
Police Brigadier Mashadi Selepe spoke however of the alleged interference by Winnie, saying “that was never brought to our attention nor reported.” Selepe added that despite the family name, no preferential treatment would be given. “All the rights of suspects are upheld during their investigation and lawful custody,” she said.
The rape was said to have occurred at the Mammas Shebeen restaurant; the owner of the bar and eatery, Yaw Dwomoh, said police have not been in contact yet, but said they will fully cooperate.
“We would cooperate, we have eight cameras in the restaurant, but the problem is that they only hold 120 hours, so by now they have been erased,” Dwomoh was quoted as saying.
Reports The Guardian: “Mandela died in December 2013 at the age of 95, leaving behind a dynasty – including 17 grandchildren – that has had more than its share of emotional scars, infighting and controversy.”
Earlier this year, a previous scandal hit the family of the anti-apartheid leader when another one of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren, Mandla, was found guilty of vehicular assault in a road rage incident involving a 40-year-old driver.