Parliament fire: Bail hearing of alleged arsonist to be heard in High Court

14th January 2022 By: News24Wire

Parliament fire: Bail hearing of alleged arsonist to be heard in High Court

Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe
Photo by: Reuters

The bail hearing of alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe will be heard on an urgent basis on Saturday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed a notice of motion for an urgent bail application had been filed in the Western Cape High Court.

"The NPA can confirm that it has received a notice of motion for an urgent application for bail at the high court for Zandile Christmas Mafe at 11:00 on Saturday," he said.

It comes after Mafe was admitted to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital on Thursday to start his 30-day mental observation, after a bed was secured for him.

The State argued earlier this week for Mafe to be referred to the psychiatric hospital for mental observation following a diagnosis and recommendation by district surgeon Zelda van Tonder that Mafe suffered from paranoid schizophrenia – a diagnosis made just before his first court appearance earlier this month.

Mafe's senior legal counsel, advocate Dali Mpofu, opposed the State's application, informing the court that Mafe would go on a hunger strike.

Mpofu argued that there was nothing wrong with Mafe.

Magistrate Zamekile Mbalo agreed with the State and postponed the matter to 11 February.

A new charge of the Contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, a Schedule 6 offence, was added to the charge sheet this week, with the State abandoning the count related to damage to essential infrastructure.

Mafe also faces arson and theft charges.