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Parliament fire: Mafe's startling claims against Ramaphosa and Cabinet ministers


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Parliament fire: Mafe's startling claims against Ramaphosa and Cabinet ministers

Zandile Mafe
Photo by Reuters
Zandile Mafe

10th June 2022

By: News24Wire


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Zandile Mafe's alarming claims against President Cyril Ramaphosa and some members of his Cabinet are contained in the indictment that was given to him in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Thursday, as he moves closer to going on trial for arson and terrorism.

Mafe was arrested on 2 January during the huge fire that destroyed the National Assembly building and parts of the Old Assembly at Parliament.


In the indictment which the State gave to his lawyer Nikiwe Nyathi, the State alleges that he accuses Ramaphosa of funding rhino horn poaching; that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula took a substantial amount from the Road Accident Fund to pay for African National Congress (ANC) election T-shirts; and, that the South African government gave the US government trillions for Americans to get their social grants.

He also claimed that Ramaphosa gave R1.7-trillion to help refugees from other countries but that the president and Parliament did not care about the poor in South Africa.


The indictment continued:

He believed South Africa is under State capture and is controlled from America.

Mafe also claimed that Police Minister Bheki Cele and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande were behind political killings of ANC opponents in KwaZulu-Natal.

Startlingly, he claimed that Ramaphosa, Cele and Nzimande kept the body parts of children with albinism at their homes in Gauteng and Limpopo.

During his bail application, the court heard that these claims made the police send him for a psychiatric evaluation. He was ultimately admitted to Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town for further observation. This was found unprocedural, so he was released and taken to Pollsmoor Prison instead.

During his bail application, Mafe said there was nothing wrong with him and that he would only take questions about the fire and anything else he was accused of once he was on trial.

The case appears to be speeding up, with 12 August set for a pre-trial conference at the Western Cape High Court. Prosecutor Mervyn Menigo said the State was ready for the next steps.

The claims in the indictment are understood to have been gathered from a video interview, CCTV at Parliament, and statements he allegedly made during his interview with police after his arrest.

Mafe alleged that he was threatened by a white man at an undisclosed location to make some of his admissions.

Much is already known about his movements between the National Assembly building and the Old Assembly, pushing papers, chairs and boxes toward the doors of the Old Assembly offices, and pouring petrol on these piles, based on information given during his bail application.

He allegedly moved to the public gallery of the National Assembly and dropped pieces of paper and torn curtain fabric down to build up kindling.

The State will argue that he then went back to the Old Assembly building, where he had also splashed around some of the R10 worth of petrol he bought in Bellville on 31 December. He allegedly set that alight, then went back to the National Assembly public gallery, splashed petrol on the floor, and started the fire.

Some of the paper had allegedly been "strategically" wedged in spaces between the furniture in the public gallery.

The indictment stated that to get into the precinct he waited for police officers to leave their post at the Plein Street entrance and then jumped over the fence. To hide from police passing by, he allegedly hid behind a wall, and at one point was flat on his stomach to avoid being detected.

He allegedly tried the doors of Tuynhuys, where Ramaphosa works from, but could not get in.

He then allegedly went down to the Old Assembly building and tried the door, which was either unlocked or not properly secured, and entered the building, according to the indictment.

The State explained that he was charged with terrorism because his actions caused feelings of intimidation and insecurity among the public, the president, and his Cabinet.

It also allegedly wanted to force the government to accede to his demands.

His demands included:

  • The State of the Nation Address must be cancelled
  • All unemployed people must get a monthly R1 500 grant
  • TVET colleges and institutions of higher education must be scrapped
  • The release of Janus Walusz, who is in jail for the assassination of Chris Hani
  • And, that the posts of president and deputy president be scrapped

According to the indictment, he faces a theft charge because he was allegedly arrested with:

  • Sling bags containing personal effects
  • Coffee and spices
  • Official parliamentary stamps
  • Stationery
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Crockery
  • Dumbbell weight
  • Electrical extension cord
  • Keys
  • ANC and South African flags
  • Toiletries
  • A black purse
  • A stainless steel multitool
  • A black trolley bag
  • A kettle
  • A toaster

The indictment states that after the fire started, he went to an open window and waved to police outside.

That was when he was arrested.

The charges against him are:

  • Arson and housebreaking with intent to commit arson
  • Contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Other Related Activities Act, alternately terrorism, alternately discharge or detonation of an explosive or lethal device
  • Theft


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