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Accused of rape, Mandela grandson freed on bail

A South African court on Tuesday granted bail to one of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela’s grandsons who is facing charges of raping an under-age girl.

The 24-year-old is alleged to have raped the 15-year-old at a popular pub in a suburb north of Johannesburg on August 7.

He spent 10 days in custody before a Johannesburg magistrate granted him bail of 7,000 rand ($538).

Under South African law, rape suspects may not be named until they have entered a court plea.

During the hearing, the suspect’s lawyers disputed the victim’s age, arguing that she was 16 and that the sex was consensual.

South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of rape in the world, prohibits sex with anyone under the age of 16.

“He does not want to be tried as a Mandela but he wants to be tried as a normal person,” his lawyer, Marinda Veldsman, told the court.

Magistrate Paul du Plessis ordered the suspect to surrender his passport and not to contact any of the witnesses as part of his bail conditions.

He is also banned from leaving Gauteng province ahead of his next court appearance, which is set for September 16.

Several members of the Mandela clan were in court to support the accused.

The case is the latest to tarnish the family of the late icon, who died in 2013.

Earlier this year, Mandla Mandela, the eldest of the late statesman’s grandsons, was convicted of assaulting a motorist during a road-rage incident. He is appealing his three year suspended sentence.