Rape charges levelled against a grandson of Nelson Mandela have been provisionally withdrawn.
This comes as the State has requested further time to investigate the matter.
He had been facing charges of rape‚ attempted rape and sexual assault after being accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl in an alley outside a restaurant in Greenside‚ Johannesburg‚ on August 7 last year.
In his bail application‚ he admitted that he had sex with the girl but said it was consensual. He also said he believed she was older than 16.
State prosecutor Nadine Nel said the State was looking to assess whether the complainant could stand to go through a trial. They were consulting with a psychiatrist.
“We need to act in the best interest of our client‚” said Nel.
His defence asked for the matter to be struck off the roll. But magistrate Hasina Habib‚ presiding at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court‚ said striking the matter off the roll did not mean the charges would be withdrawn.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman for South Gauteng Phindi Louw said the charges were only provisionally withdrawn and that Mandela was still to have his day in court.
“We believe that the accused still has a case to answer to. But new information has emerged that requires further investigation and so rather (asking) to postpone the matter‚ we have decided to provisionally withdraw (the charges)‚” Louw said.
The 24 year-old grandson of the struggle icon submitted an affidavit that gave reasons why he believed the matter should be struck off the roll.
In it‚ Mandela lamented not being able to go on holiday during the festive season due to his bail conditions.
He also called out the media who had published his name and pictures without him having pleaded before court.
Under law‚ he may not be identified until he has pleaded because of the sexual nature of the charges.
He was released on bail of R7‚000 on August 25. Part of the original conditions of the man’s bail included that he lives at the residential address he gave the investigating officer‚ which is the late Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home‚ and report to the police in Norwood twice a week.