Parliament fire accused Zandile Mafe to apply for bail

Alleged arsonist Zandile Mafe’s bail application will be heard on Saturday, said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Last week, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court ordered that Mafe undergo a 30 day mental observation at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital. A report from district surgeon Dr Zelda van Tonder revealed that Mafe suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

ALSO READ: Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe to undergo mental evaluation

“The NPA can confirm that it has received a notice of motion for an urgent application for bail at the high court for Zandile Christmas Mafe at 11am tomorrow [Thursday],” said Western Cape NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

The 49-year-old was arrested two weeks ago in connection with the blaze that gutted the Old Assembly Wing and the National Assembly of the buildings of Parliament.

During a second appearance last week, the State added a sixth charge of terrorism to Mafe’s charge sheet.

The State charged that he “unlawfully and intentionally delivered, placed, discharged or detonated an explosive device” onto the Parliament building, with the intention of causing destruction that was likely to result in economic loss.

The Contravening of Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act charge is a Schedule 6 offence.

ALSO READ: Parliament fire accused faces terrorism charge

Mafe’s legal representative Dali Mpofu, SC, argued that a doctor’s diagnosis of his client should not be used to prevent his bail application.

Mpofu added that his client would embark on a hunger strike should his detention continue.

The court agreed with the State to have Mafe sent for mental observation.

Groups of people, including the homeless, picketed outside court during proceedings. They demanded the release of Mafe, claiming he was innocent.

The homeless said they were always victims of police action and alleged they made scapegoats by the city and the police.

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