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February 26th, 2013
11:01 AM ET

Nelson Mandela's daughter and granddaughter launch wine brand and weigh in on Oscar Pistorius case

Mention the name "Mandela" and most people think of the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela. But the Mandela name is now on a product not usually associated with his legacy – wine. His daughter and granddaughter have formed the House of Mandela brand from which a portion of the profits will help improve the lives of Africa’s poverty-stricken communities. Maki Mandela, Nelson's daughter and Maki's daughter, Tukwini join “Starting Point” this morning to discuss their new endeavor.

Maki says using the Mandela family name is important because it promotes South Africa as well as a good product. She adds, “The wine industry itself is an agricultural product, it's about the soil. It employs about 450,000 people in South Africa. It contributes about three to four billion rands to the GDP of South Africa so it's a very important industrial sector.”

Regarding how other family members feel about the use of Mandela for the brand, Maki says she thinks “there will always be concern.” She says her father told her “if you use the name either for commercial or charitable or political, use it with a lot of integrity and responsibility.” Ultimately Maki says, the “House of Mandela's goal is to “continue our legacy of the House of Mandela – to promote the values that my father also emphasizes very strongly that he was made by the customs, by the traditions, by the values of his ancestors, they shaped him. And he always tells us we should always remember who we are and remember those values.”

Maki says the case involving Oscar Pistorius is a tragedy. She adds, “I am a mother of four children I have brought up also my late brother's children so in all I have 11 children… and I think if I was a parent either Reeva's parent, I would be devastated. I wouldn't know what to do. My son, my youngest son knows Reeva and she says she was a very, very good person.”

Maki says she also feels sorry for and empathizes with the parents of Olympian Oscar Pistorius. She adds, “If it was my son, I don't know where I would start, if your son killed somebody as it is alleged. So it's a tragedy for all of South Africa also, it’s not just a tragedy for those two families, for us as South Africa because Oscar Pistorius has a role model to a lot of kids.”

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius • Pistorius • South Africa
February 22nd, 2013
10:50 AM ET

VIDEO: Mixed response to Pistorius bail in girlfriend's death – heat magazine's Andrew Neveling explains

Heat magazine editor Andrew Neveling on reaction to Oscar Pistorius being granted bail in his girlfriend's murder.

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius
February 22nd, 2013
10:49 AM ET

VIDEO: Defense attorney Ted Simon breaks down evidence supporting bail for Pistorius

Criminal defense attorney Ted Simon on a magistrate's decision to grant bail to Oscar Pistorius.

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius
February 22nd, 2013
10:46 AM ET

VIDEO: Judge grants bail for Pistorius in case of girlfriend's murder

A South African magistrate granted bail to Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius
February 21st, 2013
11:20 AM ET

Criminal defense attorney Ted Simon: Pistorius will likely get bail, and here's why


Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) - Sounds of arguing for an hour before the shooting. Blood stains on a cell phone and cricket bat. Boxes of testosterone and needles.

The shape of prosecutors' case against Oscar Pistorius began to come into focus Wednesday as they argued the Olympian charged with killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, should be denied bail because he might disappear if released from jail.

But the Olympic sprinter's defense team battled back, questioning the quality of the police investigation.

The bail hearing ended Wednesday with no decision. Final arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.

This morning on "Starting Point," criminal defense attorney Ted Simon, who has represented Amanda Knox, talks with Soledad and the show team about the intricacies of the justice system in South Africa, and why the question of bail is so delicate. He also explains why he thinks Pistorius will ultimately be granted bail.

"When you look at the question of bail, even though there is a burden on the defendant in a premeditated case to show exceptional circumstances, I think this substantially adversely affected that the quality of the prosecution's case. That's why he likely will be given bail," Simon says.

Simon also addresses why the bail hearing has become so important in the case.

"The critical question is this: normally there's a presumption of innocence and the question of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which they have there. The burden always stays in the prosecution, just like here. But in bail cases, and particularly in murder cases, the burden shifts to the defendant. In a murder case, it's considered a schedule 5. A premeditated case is considered a schedule 6," Simon says.

"In addition to showing the person is not a flight risk and not a danger to the community or any person and not going to interfere with the prosecution's case, they also want to show it's in the interests of justice, which is a lesser standard if it's a schedule 5," Simon adds. "But if it's a schedule 6 premeditated murder, they must show exceptional circumstances. And that is why they offered an affidavit in the case that both showed he would not interfere with the prosecution, that he would not flee, he was not going to endanger anyone, and also it was in the interest of justice, and they sought to attack the premeditated nature of the case to drop it to a schedule 5."

See more from Simon's interview on "Starting Point" this morning.

READ MORE: Defense questions investigation in Pistorius case

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius
February 19th, 2013
09:16 AM ET

Does Pistorius defense argument hold up? Attorney Anne Bremner weighs in

Attorney Anne Bremner on the potential defense arguments in the Oscar Pistorius murder case.

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius
February 19th, 2013
08:31 AM ET

Challenges to Pistorius defense argument in girlfriend's death – Fmr. prosecutor John Kelly weighs in


Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) - Track star Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend accidentally, mistaking her for an intruder in the pitch dark of his home, he told a judge in a statement read by his attorney during his bail hearing Tuesday.

"I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend," Pistorius said in the statement.

Pistorius' attorney read the statement because the runner himself was too distraught to speak. He sobbed and heaved so much during the hearing that the magistrate had to stop proceedings and ask him to compose himself. He broke down each time Reeva Steenkamp's name was mentioned.

In the statement, Pistorius said he awoke in the early hours of the morning February 14 to noises in the bathroom and said a "sense of terror overwhelmed me." He said he thought Steenkamp was in bed beside him and that he was too scared to turn on the lights. He said he shouted to her to call police, but she didn't answer.

He said he was not wearing his prosthetic legs and felt "extremely vulnerable" and needed to protect himself and Steenkamp, 29.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers agree Steenkamp died after being shot by Pistorius, 26. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Pistorius shot four times, striking Steenkamp with three bullets.

This morning on "Starting Point," fmr. prosecutor John Q. Kelly on differences between U.S. and South Africa court procedure in the Oscar Pistorius case.

READ MORE: Pistorius says Steenkamp death unintentional

Filed under: Oscar Pistorius