Home South African Parliament fire accused faces additional terrorism charge

Parliament fire accused faces additional terrorism charge

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Parliament fire accused Zandile Mafe heard that he faces a terrorism charge in connection with the blaze which gutted the National Assembly and Old Assembly buildings.

Zandile Mafe made his second appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Parliament fire accused Zandile Mafe on Tuesday heard that he faces a terrorism charge in connection with the blaze which gutted the National Assembly and Old Assembly buildings.

Mafe made his second appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old, who is being represented by Advocate Dali Mpofu, also faces charges of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, two counts of arson and possession of an explosive device.

The court heard that Mafe had to undergo psychiatric evaluation and after observation it was found that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Mpofu requested a short adjournment to consult with his client. He stated that the defence was left surprised on Tuesday morning with the additional charge of terrorism, which is a Schedule 6 offence, and the medical report diagnosis.

The State wants Mafe to be admitted to the Valkenberg psychiatric facility for 30 days, while the defence has called for the accused to be released on bail.

Last week, during his first court appearance, Mafe’s legal representative, Luvuyo Godla, told journalists his client is not the person who was supposed to be apprehended. Furthermore, he added that Mafe denies and rejects the charges, and therefore, he will plead not guilty.

The Hawks are investigating the circumstances around the two-day fire which started last week.

Court proceedings are expected to resume later on Tuesday.

Political Bureau

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