Monday, January 31, 2022

State Says Zandile Mafe Wanted to Prevent State of the Nation Address, Fate Determined Soon

Photo via Rodger Bosch/Agence France-Presse

The state said Zandile Mafe, the man who confessed to burning down the Parliament earlier this year, may know his fate as soon as this week, the Regional Court said during his hearing. 

Mafe is advocating to be released on bail for his charges of terrorism, arson, robbery and more. Prosecutors say due to the severity of the charges and substantial evidence, Mafe should be convicted without bail. 

Over the weekend, the state said Mafe's motivations for the fire were to prevent the State of the Nation Address and force President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign. Mafe's other motivation included releasing Janus Walusz, who was convicted of murdering leader of the African Communist Party Chris Hani last year.   

Advocates for Mafe said he has serious mental health issues including being diagnosed with "paranoid schizophrenia" in January. The diagnosis came after the fire was reported on January 2. 

The affidavit given to the court said Mafe believed burning the Parliament was "the right thing to put the Parliament on fire as at the moment it is not helping the people of South Africa."  

The court said its final judgement on the case will be delivered next Friday February 4. 

By Ben Rappaport

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