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Parliament fire: Hawks say Zandile Mafe case may head to High Court

Firefighters battling blaze after fire broke out in Parliament in January. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Firefighters battling blaze after fire broke out in Parliament in January. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 20, 2022


Cape Town - The Hawks have indicated that the case against Zandile Mafe for allegedly burning Parliament could head to the Western Cape High Court.

This would be after all outstanding reports, including forensic reports, have been submitted by experts.

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Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille said she would receive the final report on Friday after an investigation done by the Coega Development Corporation on the extent of the damage to Parliament after the fire on January 2.

Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, told members of the joint standing committee on the financial management of Parliament that there were forensic reports that still need to be submitted and will be used as evidence in court.

“There is also a final report from a cyber expert relating to the video. There is also a final damage report from the Department of Public Works on the extent of the damage. Once all the reports are received the case will be taken to court for trial,” said Lebeya.

The video evidence was 30 hours long and would be important to the case, he said.

“I indicated that this matter might go to the High Court; if that is the case, the indictment will be served on the person,” said Lebeya.

Mafe is due back in court on June 9.

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National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola said they could add more charges against Mafe if there was a need.

But that would be determined by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Lebeya also said the NPA would have the final say on the charges against Mafe.

“Once all investigation is completed the prosecuting authority will determine the final charges,” he said.

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De Lille told the committee that she was going to receive the final report from Coega on Friday. This was after she received another report on May 6, but the final report will be given to her on Friday.

This report will outline the extent of the damage and the costs.

“In terms of the damages to Parliament and the readiness for the report to go to the NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions), I want to give the members assurance that I have discussed it with the Speaker this morning, that once we receive the final report today that we start processing it, so that we can meet the deadline long before June 9.

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“The issue of the cost, the report we will receive today will deal with the extent of the damages and also the restoration time, including the procurement process. The procurement process will be subject to Parliament,” said De Lille.

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Political Bureau