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Alleged parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe’s bail appeal to be reheard in the Western Cape High Court

Zandile Christmas Mafe appealed the decision after bail was denied in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Zandile Christmas Mafe appealed the decision after bail was denied in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 24, 2022

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Cape Town - The man alleged to be behind the blaze which brought parliament to a halt will have to wait a bit longer to know whether his appeal on his bail application is successful.

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

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His bail was initially denied in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

Mafe opted to appeal the decision.

This decision to have the matter reheard comes after arguments were heard in the Western Cape High Court, but the decision was split between judges.

According to the provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Eric Ntabazalila a third judge has been appointed in the matter and the bail appeal application will be heard on May 30.

On April 25, Judges James Lekhuleni and Daniel Thulare heard arguments in the appeal and reserved judgment.

On Monday, parties were informed that arguments would be reheard on May 30, at 9am.

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During the appeal, Ntabazalila said senior state Advocate Mervyn Meningo argued that the court had sufficient evidence and arguments made by counsel, that Mafe failed to place exceptional circumstances before for the court to grant him bail.

Meningo argued for the appeal to be dismissed as there had not been any arguments advanced or any material misdirection on the facts and law which would find the decision to deny him bail being wrong.

The case against Mafe is expected back in court on June 9.

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This after Meningo told the court the final damage report to parliament would only be ready by May 20.

He further asked the court for that lengthy postponement in order for the crime scene and arson reports to be finalised.

According to Ntabazalila, Meningo will also have the authorisation certificate ready for this court. This is required when an accused is charged with terrorism.

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The case against Mafe will be transferred to the Western Cape High Court.

Mafe will be served with this indictment on his next appearance on June 9.

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