EASTERN Cape police are on the hunt for Mandla Mandela, who they claim is evading arrest. A warrant was reportedly issued for his arrest last Friday after the former Mvezo chief failed to appear in court on charges of bigamy.
Mandela again failed to report yesterday to the Bityi police station, where he was expected to sign a mandatory document acknowledging the charges against him.
Bityi police station commander Lieutenant-Colonel MN Ngame has now written to police in Goodwood, Cape Town, asking them to serve the warrant at his address in the Acacia Park parliamentary village or to arrest him on sight.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said yesterday Mthatha police had gone out looking for him near the home of his grandfather, former president Nelson Mandela. However, it is understood that Mandela, an ANC MP, is in Cape Town, where parliament resumes work today.
It could not be confirmed yesterday if the warrant had indeed been served on Mandela.
Speaking on behalf of the Mandela family, attorney Gary Jansen said: “These are legal matters, not media matters, and they are taking their legal course.” He would not comment further. Mandela was also unavailable for comment.
Mandela had been due to appear in the periodical court last week after his estranged first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, laid charges of bigamy with the police after he defied the court to marry a second and third woman in 2010 and last year respectively. Both marriages have since been annulled by the Mthatha High Court.
Fatyela said Mandela had been due to report to the Bityi police station yesterday morning for a warning statement.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luxolo Tyali said although the warrant seemed authentic, the NPA had not signed it and was not party to the issuing of a warrant.
Goodwood police spokesman, Captain F C Van Wyk, said he was unaware of any warrant at this stage and would have to correspond with the Bityi police.
But Wesley Hayes, the attorney who has been representing Mabunu-Mandela since she filed for divorce from Mandela in 2009, said it had been a constant battle to get Mandela to cooperate.
He said there was a veil of secrecy surrounding the issuing of the warrant, although he was in possession of a copy.
“Mr Mandela seems to think he is above the law,” he said.
“He has continuously thumbed his nose at the court. It is disgraceful a man in his position has continued to do so.”
In 2010, Mabunu-Mandela brought an 11th-hour application to the high court in an attempt to prohibit Mandela from marrying 19-year-old Anais Grimaud. The application succeeded, but the two went ahead with the ceremony.
Then, in December last year he defied another court interdict to marry Mbalenhle Makhathini of KwaZulu-Natal. Mandla could now be held in contempt of court.