Prosecutors drop bigamy charges against Nelson Mandela’s grandson

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 11:50 EDT
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Mandla Mandela (AFP)
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South Africa’s state prosecutor said Tuesday that charges of grave tampering and bigamy have been dropped against Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, who had been embroiled in a bitter family feud.

In July, Mandla Mandela was charged with tampering with the graves of some of his famous grandfather’s children, after exhuming their bodies without consent.

“We have decided to drop the charges of grave violation because of insufficient evidence,” said Luxolo Tyali, the spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority.

Mandla in 2011 dug up the remains of his father Makgatho, who died in 2005, and two other children of the country’s anti-apartheid hero, Makaziwe who died as an infant in 1948 and Thembekile in 1969.

The remains were shifted from the family graveyard in the southern village of Qunu — where the global peace icon grew up — to nearby Mvezo, where Mandla is the tribal chief.

They were returned and reburied in Qunu in July following a court order sought by members of Mandela’s family.

Mandela’s eldest grandson had also faced a long standing charge of bigamy, after his unceremonious separation from his first wife, Thando Mabunu, in 2008.

“After studying the police docket on this matter, we also decided not to prosecute,” said Tyali.

In a statement Mandla, 39, welcomed the lifting of the grave tampering and bigamy charges.

“I always believed in my innocence and questioned the motives for laying these charges against me,” he said.

He is still currently facing a charge of pulling a gun on a motorist during a road rage quarrel last month.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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