Zandile Christmas Mafe looked disoriented and confused when he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in connection with the fire in Parliament. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)
Zandile Christmas Mafe looked disoriented and confused when he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in connection with the fire in Parliament. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament fire: Zandile Mafe likely to face more charges, says NPA

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Jan 4, 2022

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Cape Town - National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila says more charges are likely to be added to Parliament fire accused instigator Zandile Mafe.

The 49-year-old made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning on charges of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, two counts of arson, possession of an explosive device and destruction of an essential infrastructure.

His arrest follows after a fire at Parliament gutted the National Assembly and Old Assembly buildings in Cape Town on Sunday and Monday. The second day of the fire was fuelled by strong south-easterly winds in the city.

Ntabazalila said the state requested the court to postpone the case for the next seven days for bail information such as the confirmation of his residential address, whether he has any assets, any pending cases, any pending warrants of arrests against him and any previous convictions.

Video: Armand Hough/African News Agency

“The State also requested the postponement in order to determine the schedule under which the accused will be charged as it intends to charge him under Schedule 5 while the defence insists that he must be charged under Schedule 1.

“The postponement will also provide the investigating officer, Colonel Theron, with an opportunity to visit the crime scene to determine the extent of the damage. The crime scene was still active until late yesterday which made it inaccessible,” he said.

Mafe legal representative, Luvuyo Godla, is of the view that his client is not the person who was supposed to be apprehended.

He said Mafe is being used as a scapegoat and emphasised that the fire is as a result of the failure of the executive and legislature.

Video: African News Agency (ANA)

Godla further added Mafe denies and rejects the charges. He is expected to plead not guilty.

Magistrate Zamekile Mbalo postponed the hearing to January 11.

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Political Bureau

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