CAPE TOWN - While alleged Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe’s legal counsel indicated they would appeal his failed bail application, the State confirmed they intended to also oppose that application.
This comes after Mafe was denied bail at the Cape Town Regional Court last week.
Mafe, who testified during his bail application that he is a “poor person in the wrong place at the wrong time”, will appear again in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on February 11.
He is charged with housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, and theft.
Magistrate Michelle Adams said Mafe would remain imprisoned as his evidence in support of exceptional circumstances to have him released did not satisfy the court.
“In the alleged confession, he claims that he will not stop his activities and he is clearly willing to risk life and limb for his beliefs as his recent hunger strike has shown,” said Adams.
Handing down judgment, Adams further said: “It should of course never be forgotten that the Constitution does not create an unqualified right to personal freedom and that it is inherent in the wording that the Bill of Rights contemplates - and sanctions - the temporary deprivation of liberty required to bring a person suspected of an offence before a court of law. The hypothesis… is that persons may legitimately and constitutionally be deprived of their liberty in given circumstances. This clearly establishes that unless the equilibrium is displaced an arrestee is not to be released.”
Provincial Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell, welcomed the decision.
“This is a first step in the right direction of ensuring that we get justice.
“The next step is to ensure that we prove our case against the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.
“We believe that we have a strong case against the accused and the experienced and skilled investigating and prosecution team we have assembled will put up a strong case before the court that will result in a successful prosecution,” said Bell.
Bell said they would oppose any appeal the defence plans to launch.