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Evidence tying parliament’s ‘arsonist’ Zandile Mafe to the crime site has been suggested by the state



The government has hinted at evidence tying the suspect accused of setting fire to the National Assembly.

During his appearance in the Cape Town magistrate’s court on Tuesday, Zandile Mafe, 49, was charged with violating the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act. After the state dropped a charge of destroying critical infrastructure against him, he was released.

The terrorist count was added after they saw video footage, according to prosecutor Helene Booysen. The charge is under schedule 6, which puts the burden of proof on Mafe to show that his release on bond is in the best interests of justice.

“After examining video evidence, we finalized the case file yesterday Monday,” Booysen stated. She didn’t go into detail about the footage, though.

Dali Mpofu, Mafe’s lawyer, and Booysen sparred over Mafe’s mental health and bail application.

Dr. Zelda van Tonder, the district surgeon, diagnosed Mafe with paranoid schizophrenia, according to the prosecution. Booysen requested that Mafe be committed to a mental institution for a period of 30 days of observation.

Mpofu was looking for flaws in the state’s application. “There is nothing wrong with him,” Mafe assured him after a consultation. The state, according to Mpofu, “ambushed” them with the schedule 6 count.

“He [Mafe] believes that he should no longer be in the state’s custody after today [Tuesday].” He intends to go on a hunger strike. He claims that he will do so regardless of the consequences. He refuses to eat any meal given by the government. He doesn’t understand why the government, which couldn’t feed him when he was impoverished and fending for himself outside, is suddenly interested in feeding him.”

Mafe was not “willing to give up his freedom for hunger.”


“Your worship is aware that what we are dealing with here is the accused’s liberty,” Mpofu added.

“All we’re asking for is his right to seek bail.” Please remember that the same state that believes there might be an element of incompetence has also included a case of terrorism.”

Investigators paid a visit to Mafe’s residence in the North West, according to Mpofu. “The state cannot continue to smear the accused’s reputation.”

The case was not postponed for a bail application, according to Booysen. She stated, “The record speaks for itself.”


The case was adjourned for bail information rather than a bail application. The postponement was intended to give the state time to determine which schedule Mafe’s alleged offense would come under.

The investigation officer needed access to the crime site, hence the postponement was necessary.

Mafe can’t hold the state hostage with a hunger strike, according to Booysen.

“Does it imply if a bail application is filed and he is not released, he would go on a hunger strike until he dies?” Booysen was the one who inquired.

Mafe was committed to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital by Magistrate Zamekile Mbalo.

Mbalo stated, “There is prima facie evidence before me that the accused may not be able to stand trial.”

The case has been rescheduled until February 11 by Mbalo.


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