Home South African Mafe to go ahead with bail application after Covid isolation in prison

Mafe to go ahead with bail application after Covid isolation in prison

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The National Prosecuting Authority has meanwhile advised that the charges against Mafe have been reformulated after the senior State prosecutor consulted with the investigating officer.

Zandile Mafe. Picture: ANA

CAPE TOWN – Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s bail application is set to go ahead later this week after the matter had to be postponed after he contracted Covid-19 and had to go into isolation.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has meanwhile advised that the charges against Mafe have been reformulated after senior State prosecutor Mervyn Menigo consulted with the investigating officer.

NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the bail application matter was postponed to Saturday, January 29.

“The planned bail application of Mafe that was scheduled for January 22 has been moved to January 29. On Tuesday (last week) the court was advised that Mafe contracted Covid-19 and was in isolation. (On Friday), the State, defence and the Acting President of the Regional Court met virtually to discuss the logistics of the bail application and the parties agreed with the defence as they are unable to consult with Mafe until he completes his isolation on January 24,” said Ntabazalila.

“Mafe was released from Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital on Wednesday following a high court order after the defence applied for a review of his referral for a 30-day mental observation. He is remanded at Pollsmoor Prison where he is isolated.”

Judgment was reserved in the review application.

“A new charge sheet has been provided to the defence, Wednesday and Thursday, and they confirmed receipt of the document. The accused is now charged with housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, arson, terrorism and theft. The changes came after Menigo, who is the leading prosecutor in the matter, had studied the docket afresh, further consulted with the investigating officer and felt that the charges needed to be reformulated,” said Ntabazalila.

Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe last week ordered Mafe’s immediate release from Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital and said the detention was “unconstitutional and should not have happened”.

The court heard that Mafe’s detention in the medical facility was unlawful as it contravened the Mental Healthcare Act which stipulates guidelines for a 72-hour involuntary assessment, however, Mafe was assessed by district surgeon Zelda van Tonder a day after his arrest on January 3, diagnosing him with paranoid schizophrenia before his court appearance on January 4.

Representing Mafe pro bono, advocate Dali Mpofu SC had said the liberty of Mafe had been “violated” and the delay in having his bail application heard was a “travesty of justice”.

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