Parliament Fire: Accused Christmas Mafe Not Well, Sent For Observation

Mafe
Christmas Mafe

The 49-year-old man accused of setting fire to the Parliament buildings has been sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation after his second appearance on Tuesday at Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

Zandile Christmas Mafe was represented by Advocate Dali Mpofu.

 Zandile Christmas Mafe
ARSON ACCUSED: Zandile Christmas Mafe during his first appearance last week

The fire at Parliament took two days to bring under control and by the time it was doused the roof had carved in.

Cracks had also appeared in some of the walls

On Tuesday, the court heard that the defence had.

Unlike his first appearance, this time Mafe was well-groomed – gone was the unkempt hair and shabby clothes.

The state opposed bail and instead added a new charge related to terrorism.

Mafe faces other charges including, breaking and entering, theft, arson, and breaching the National Key Point Act.

Mafe denies the charges and pleads not guilty

The accused will be under observation for 30 days at the Valkenberg Hospital – a large, government-funded, tertiary psychiatric hospital in Cape Town.

Costs of the fire damage were estimated at more than R200 million excludes the cost of furniture, laptops, carpets, sound equipment and other movable assets.

Investigations into the matter are continuing and Mafe will be brought back to court on 11 February.

Outside the court, civil groups and ordinary people carried placards in support of the accused. They were demanding Mafe’s immediate release.

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