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Parliament arson accused Zandile Mafe bail appeal application to be heard after split decision

Accused Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Accused Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 24, 2022


Cape Town - Accused Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe, will head back to the Western Cape High Court later this month, where the court will rehear his bail application appeal following a split decision.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila, on Tuesday, said a third judge had been appointed, and the bail appeal application will be heard on May 30, 2022.

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"On April 25, 2022, Judge James Lekhuleni and Judge Daniel Thulare heard marathon arguments in the bail application appeal and reserved judgment. Yesterday, parties were informed that the arguments will be reheard at 9am, 30 May 2022," said Ntabazalila.

Mafe is charged with housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, arson, terrorism and theft.

Ntabazalila said during the appeal, senior state advocate Mervyn Menigo argued that the court a quo having had regard to the evidence, and the arguments made by counsel found that Mafe had failed to place exceptional circumstances before the court, which in the interests of justice, permitted his release on bail.

Earlier this month, the Western Cape High Court also found that no justification existed for a 30-day psychiatric evaluation referral for accused Parliament arsonist, Mafe.

The court found that such a referral was “substantively and procedurally flawed, which resulted in a gross irregularity” and was set aside.

Meanwhile, the criminal case against Mafe has been postponed to June 9, 2022. after Advocate Menigo told the court that a final damage report to parliament was expected to be ready by May 20, 2022. Menigo had also told the court that a crime scene and arson report would be finalised soon.

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"(Menigo) promised that all outstanding reports will be ready, as well as the authorisation certificate, which is required when an accused is charged with a terrorism charge. He also assured the court that the accused will be served with an indictment and the case will be transferred to the (Western Cape High Court) at the next appearance. Magistrate Ronel Oliver ruled in favour of the state, saying it is in the interest of justice to grant the postponement. She requested that the indictment be ready to be served on June 9, 2022," said Ntabazalila.

Cape Times