HomeAfricaZandile Mafe: Alleged Parliament arsonist to SUE the state

Zandile Mafe: Alleged Parliament arsonist to SUE the state

Zandile Mafe is currently making his case for bail at the Cape Town Regional Court. During proceedings, he revealed that he intends to sue the state for damages. Mafe’s bail application was originally supposed to take place last weekend. The matter was delayed by a week with Mafe having to isolate after contracting COVID-19. Mafe is accused by the state of starting the fire in Parliament and allegedly having an explosive device with him. He is also facing charges of terrorism as a result.

Zandile Mafe to sue the state: But is he behind the Parliament fire?

Proceedings began with a slight delay as the court decided whether or not the media would be able to live stream proceedings. Both the state and Mafe’s legal team did not object to the media’s presence. Mafe is represented by Advocate Dali Mpofu and has been held in custody at Pollsmoor Prison since his release from Falkenberg.

Mafe then took the witness stand himself. He began with questions about his life, with Mpofu asking whether a stutter has had had since he was a child, could be being used against him by the state. Mafe has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Mafe told the court that he had worked in a bakery in Capetown from 2014 to 2018. He has been jobless since 2018 and “lost his dignity”.

Mafe then revealed that he wants to sue the state for damages. His revelation came as Mpofu probed him about whether he would flee if granted bail.

“Yes I want to sue the State but in the high court. The State has nothing to fear because I won’t run away because I want to sue the State”

Zandile Mafe

Mafe said he wants the state to pay damages as it would now be even more difficult for him to get a job. Mafe said that this is because of how he has been publically blamed for the fire at Parliament. He remains adamant that he intends to plead not guilty.

Mafe’s busy January

Earlier this month, Zandile Mafe was sent to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital by the magistrate for a 30-day psychiatric observation. The defence applied for a review of his referral. He was released from Valkenberg two weeks ago, after Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe found that the correct processes had not been followed.

There are still question marks over whether he is fit to stand trial.

In court papers, Mafe slammed the terrorism charges against him. He went on to refer to them as a “transparent attempt and cheap strategy” to stop him from being granted bail. He also described the conditions at Falkenberg during his time there as “unbearably inhumane”.

Mafe’s legal team say he is being made a scapegoat for the state.

The bail application is still ongoing.



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