Mandela grandson 'bolstered'
A statement by a man who claimed to have seen the grandson of Nelson Mandela and his teenage rape accuser kissing passionately helped to secure the young man's release on bail. Magistrate Pieter du Plessis granted the 24-year-old Mandela R7000 bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court yesterday.The accused, who in his bail statement said he would plead not guilty, faces charges of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl at a restaurant in Greenside, Johannesburg, on August 7.The young man asked the court to set bail at no higher than R10000 because he was unemployed, had two children and a baby on the way. He has been in custody since being arrested on August 14.He must report to the police twice a week and may not travel without permission.The suspect admitted in court last week that he had had sex with the girl but said she had consented and he believed she was older than 16.He said he sat on a chair while the girl "straddled him during sex". The girl may not be identified because she is a minor and a rape complainant.Marinda Veldsman, acting for the suspect, handed in an affidavit by Goola Singh, employed as a chef at the restaurant at which the alleged rape took place. Singh said he saw the accused and the girl kissing passionately in a passage."I noticed nothing untoward between the man and the woman outside my window. If there had been noises of [a] struggle I would have heard," said Singh. Du Plessis said Singh's statement seemed to strengthen the accused's case.The defence earlier disputed the girl's age and claimed a birth certificate handed in to the court was not hers. Veldsman referred to accounts on social media sites Facebook and Twitter, said to be maintained by the complainant, that appeared to show her to be older than 16.The rape of someone younger than 16 is an offence listed in schedule 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act.Bail may be granted to the accused in a schedule 6 case only in exceptional circumstances.The suspect in his statement said the restaurant had a policy barring anyone younger than 21. He said the complainant was drinking alcohol and smoking, actions prohibited to a person younger than 18 or 16 respectively. These were some reasons he believed her to be of the age of consent.The defence conceded when the investigating officer confirmed the girl's age.