Mandela to bring charges against restaurant


South African former president Nelson Mandela will press charges against a fast-food outlet for using his likeness in its logo, a report said today.

No permission was ever sought nor has permission been given
Nelson Mandela's lawyer Ismail Ayob
Sunday Times

"No permission was ever sought nor has permission been given. Formal charges will be lodged with the police next week," Mr Ayob said.

He said using a former president's image without his permission was prohibited by South African law and offenders risked a jail sentence.

The restaurant, which opened in Cape Town last week, offers chicken dishes with names like Nelson's Freedom meal and Nelson's Peace meal.

But its co-owner Carl de Jongh denied that the menu or logo were inspired by the 83-year-old former president and said any resemblance with Mr Mandela was coincidental.

"This is a fictitious character. In no way is it based on Nelson Mandela," he said, adding that he was planning to open another 20 such shops throughout South Africa.

The ruling African National Congress said the restaurant's branding was an insult to their former leader and it was taking legal advice.

"There is something very wrong with this," ANC spokesman Smuts Ngonyama said. "This is a man who is respected around the world, and these people have reduced him to a fast-food chicken outlet. It is degrading."