Mafe to remain behind bars after another bail bid fails at the Western Cape High Court.
CAPE TOWN – Accused Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe, has once again been unsuccessful in his bid for bail.
Mafe’s bail application appeal was dismissed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday after three judges reached their decision.
Judge James Lekhuleni and Judge Daniel Thulare previously heard marathon arguments in the bail application appeal and on Monday, judge Noluthando Nziweni, who had been appointed as the third judge, heard final arguments.
The bail application arguments had to be reheard in the high court after a split decision between Lekhuleni and Thulare earlier this month.
Mafe, 39, who has now been jailed for five months, faces charges of housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism, and arson, terrorism and theft.
State prosecutor Mervyn Menigo said that they would present evidence in court showing Mafe captured on CCTV footage, and going undetected inside Parliament’s building for more than 30 hours before his arrest on January 2.
According to Menigo, Mafe had in a “premeditated fashion” bought petrol in a bottle at a petrol station before getting into a taxi to the City.
Menigo said the State had identified Mafe in incriminating footage and “positive facial comparison” as he could be seen setting alight boxes and papers inside the Parliament building.
“In a premeditated fashion, he buys petrol in a bottle, gets in a taxi to the city, sees an opportunity to get into the parliament building – which can be attributed to the laxity of those guarding parliament – and walks in full view of the video cameras.
“He enters the Old Assembly, piles boxes at the Old Assembly offices, leaves from there and throws boxes and papers down into the New Assembly building and goes back to the Old Assembly building, pours petrol over the boxes and sets it alight. It gutted Parliament and this is the violence of the offence,” said Menigo.
Arguing for Mafe, SC Dali Mpofu, submitted that an alleged confession given by Mafe to investigating officer, Christiaan Theron, in an “affidavit which was not authenticated, ”couldn’t even be classified as hearsay”.
“We should reduce this case to its bare onus which is…for the court to look at the matter and apply the law dispassionately.
“This is a case that cries out for the application of our Constitution and there can only be one outcome,” argued Mpofu.
Meanwhile the case was postponed to June 9 after Advocate Menigo told the court that a final damage report to parliament would be ready and a crime scene and arson report would be finalised.