NPA to fight Mandla Mandela over assault case

His attorneys are preparing to petition the EC High court to get the record expunged.

FILE: Chief Mandla Mandela and his wife Thando Mabuno-Mandela. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it will fight attempts by Mandla Mandela to have his assault conviction overturned.

Mandela, who assaulted a man during a road-rage incident in 2013, has been fined R10,000, part of which has been suspended for a year.

The ANC MP had an application for leave to appeal the matter turned down at the Mthatha Regional Court on Wednesday.

Mandela had been convicted of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, an offence that could result in a jail term.

But his attorneys are preparing to petition the Eastern Cape High court to get the record expunged.

The defence had told the court Mandela is the family breadwinner and a first time offender, but the prosecution wanted the African National Congress Member of Parliament to be sent to prison.

The NPA's Luxolo Tyali says they believe this is a first incident and if they want to go ahead, his team will work hard to oppose the move.

Meanwhile, Mandela's attorney Billy Gundelfinger says the conviction won't impact his political career.

"The acts relating to being a Member of Parliament is direct imprisonment exceeding 12 months, which is not applicable in the case of Mandla Mandela."

Gundelfinger says they will lodge papers with the Eastern Cape judge president within 14 days. He believes a higher court will come to a different conclusion.

Magistrate Noluthando Conjwa has refused Mandela's application for leave to appeal the conviction.