Cape Town - The man accused of setting fire to Parliament made his first appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on arson charges on Tuesday.
Zandile Mafe, 49, from Khayelitsha was arrested on Sunday.
He has been charged with two counts of arson and two counts of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft. In addition he has been charged with discharging explosives and damaging or destroying essential infrastructure.
Mafe is accused of injuring the State by setting fire to property of the State, leading to extensive damage to the Old Assembly and National Assembly.
Court papers also revealed that items stolen by Mafe include laptops, crockery and documents. He has also been accused of placing and discharging explosives or volatile liquids with the intent to cause damage to the Parliament building.
State Prosecutor Adnaan Gelderblom said in court that the State will be opposing bail, and requested a remand to allow the State to get confirmation from the Director of Public Prosecutions of the schedule of offence.
He also said there had been challenges for the State with regards to the charges because the investigating officers had not been at the crime scene itself as it hadn’t been declared safe.
“The state has taken necessary steps with experts being deployed from Pretoria to help determine what is the cause of this fire,” said Gelderbloem.
Defence lawyer Luvuyo Godla who appeared said the State had ample time to gather the necessary information in order to proceed with the case.
The case has been postponed to January 11 and Mafe will remain in police custody.