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Mandla turns up
21 Feb 2012
witness correspondent

CONTROVERSIAL ANC MP Mandla Mandela yesterday presented himself at Bityi police and signed a warning statement related to a bigamy charge.

This was confirmed by Mthatha police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela.

The bigamy charge was laid against him in December last year by his estranged wife, Thando Mabuna-Mandela. Bityi police investigating the case experienced difficulties in getting him to co-operate with them, leading to a warrant of arrest being issued last Friday. It will no longer be executed given that he finally presented himself yesterday.

Mandela made it clear yesterday that he would fight his estranged wife in court, not through the media.

This was the upshot of a one-line statement issued by Gary Jansen, a member of Mandela’s legal team.

Mandela, who is no stranger to hogging the headlines, has been back in the news again since Saturday when Weekend Witness reported that police in the Eastern Cape had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Mabuna-Mandela was also granted a court order in her marathon divorce case, to compel Mandela to disclose his financial interests. This included whether he had sold the broadcast rights to his grandfather, Nelson Mandela’s, funeral. Mandela had 15 days from yesterday to supply the information, which is crucial to settling the divorce so that a financial settlement can be agreed to.

Jansen told The Witness yesterday: “These are legal matters, not media matters, and they are taking their legal course”.

A Mandela spokesperson referred the newspaper to a joint statement issued in July last year after allegations first made in 2009 resurfaced that the MP had sold the exclusive broadcast rights to his grandfather’s funeral to the SABC for R3 million.

Mandela and the SABC denied the allegations.

At the time Mandela was quoted as saying: “When the story broke in 2009, I considered it a joke and wondered what could motivate a newspaper to fabricate such lies.

“Today I still hear people talking about this and using these lies to determine the kind of person I am. I am glad that we can today lay this matter to rest.”

In an interview published in the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Mabuna-Mandela is reported to have said that she was still sceptical and wanted answers.

She said that if Mandela had sold the rights, she wanted half as her share of the joint estate, although she would donate it to a charity to uphold the Mandela name.

As reported yesterday, Mandela is expected to appear in the Bityi Periodical Court in early March, after a deal struck between his lawyer and the prosecutor.

— Witness Correspondent.





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