Alleged Parliament arsonist goes on rant when he appeared in court on Thursday; Case postponed

The alleged Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe, shocked most at the Western Cape High Court as he appeared on Thursday, and went on a rant that ran for more than 15 minutes on different occasions during the sitting.

PICTURE: Twitter - @TheTruthPanther

Mafe was remanded in the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison for several weeks.

‘’Mafe told the court that he burnt down Parliament and he will burn it down again unless it is moved to Bloemfontein or Pretoria. He also made political statements stating that protests in the country happened because of his incarceration,’’ said Eric Ntabazalila, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Western Cape spokesperson.

Judge Nathan Erasmus told the court that Mafe will be unable to follow court proceedings and make a proper defence, as he was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.

According to reports, Erasmus read out the psychiatric report findings.

“I also decided to lift the bar on the findings of the report as this is the report of the court filed with a court and therefore, a public document. I will, however, not disclose the diagnosis, which is this medical condition, but I will disclose the findings. The findings were; one, the accused is unable to follow court proceedings as to make proper defence; secondly, at the time of the alleged offence the accused was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of the action in question, and unable to act in accordance with such appreciation of wrongfulness.”

Judge Erasmus refused to disclose the diagnosis by a panel of three experts who observed Mafe over 30 days at Fort England Psychiatric Hospital, in the Eastern Cape.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, says the state charged Mafe with housebreaking with intent to commit arson, terrorism, and theft.

The defence counsel requested a six-weeks postponement, for them to get a psychiatrist of their choice who will consult with Mafe, the panel of experts and then draft a report which will assist them to determine whether they will challenge the report of the panel from Fort England Psychiatric Hospital. The defence told the court that they struggled to get a psychiatrist to assist them, but eventually managed to secure one.

However Judge Erasmus only granted the defence three and a half weeks of postponement and indicated that it was a final postponement. The case has been postponed until 10 August 2023.


Done by: Alungile Njemla


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