A grandson of the late South African anti-apartheid leader and former President Nelson Mandela was charged Monday with raping a 15-year-old girl. Mbuso Mandela, 24, was charged at Johannesburg Magistrates Court and was remanded to a local prison. He allegedly attacked the girl in a restaurant restroom in early August, South Africa’s Times Live reported.
Mandela is accused of following the teen to the restroom at a popular restaurant in Greenside, a Johannesburg suburb, on Aug. 7. He allegedly grabbed her and then raped her in the restroom. The girl’s father attempted to open a criminal case but reportedly was intimidated by the bodyguard of South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a former wife of Mandela. The family’s attorney filed the case a week later, the Daily Sun reported.
“Winnie’s bodyguard went to the family pretending to be a cop. 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,” a spokesman for the girl’s family told the newspaper. “Just because they have a famous surname, they think they can get away with crime.”
Defense attorneys asked that the defendant be held at the police station rather than at the Johannesburg prison until he can apply for bail, but the judge refused the request. He was expected to apply for bail later this week, Times Live reported.
This is not the first time a grandchild of Mandela, who served as South Africa’s first black president, from 1994 to 1999, has been accused of a crime. Earlier this year, his eldest grandson, Mandla Mandela, 41, was convicted of assaulting a 40-year-old motorist during a road rage incident in 2013, South Africa’s News24 reported.
Nelson Mandela was married three times. He fathered six children and had four stepchildren. At the time of his death on Dec. 5, 2013, he had 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.