Zandile Mafe to remain in Pollsmoor's hospital as mental health report goes under review

Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe will remain in the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison, following his extended mental evaluation at the Fort England l Psychiatric Hospital, in Makhanda, Eastern Cape.

Mafe returned to the Western Cape High Court on Thursday. On 28 March 2023, the court transferred and ordered that Mafe be detained at the hospital to undergo a 30-day mental evaluation. Mafe was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

He is accused of housebreaking with intent to commit arson, terrorism, and theft after he burnt down Parliament, destroying the Old and New Assembly Building of Parliament, in January 2022.

PICTURE - Storm Simpson: Alleged parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe

Judge Nathan Erasmus, ordered psychiatrists at the hospital to enquire whether the accused, because of mental illness and or intellectual disability is capable of understanding the court proceedings, to make a proper defence, whether, at the time of the commission of the offence, he appreciated the wrongfulness of the act in question and whether his appreciation of the wrongfulness of his act at the time was affected by mental illness or intellectual disability or any other cause.

Erasmus said he received an electronic report from the panel of experts on 24 May 2023 and shared it with the State and Defense. The judge ordered, after the state and defence agreed, that the contents of the report not be disclosed at this stage, as the defence needs to consult with their client.

Adv. Dali Mpofu asked for a postponement of the case as he said they need to consult Mafe and may even call their experts if they dispute the report.

The State’s Mervyn Menigo told the court that the state does not dispute the report and supported the request for postponement.

Mafe has refused to attend cour ton three occasions, either demanding to be provided with a kettle and flat-screen tv, or claiming that he is on hunger strike, or bluntly refusing to leave his prison cell.

The case has been postponed to 13 July 2023, for the defence to consult.


Done By: Mitchum George


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