Zandile Mafe starts mental observation in hospital


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Alleged Parliament arsonist, Zandile Christmas Mafe starts his 30-day mental observation at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town on Thursday after a bed was secured for him.

He was arrested for the blaze which gutted parts of Parliament earlier this month.

He faces several charges including one relating to terrorism.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, says Mafe appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s court on Thursday where the presiding officer made the order for him to be admitted for observation.

“State prosecutor, Advocate Adenaan Gelderbloem advised Mafe’s legal representative of the latest developments through an email yesterday afternoon and called this morning to confirm receipt of the email.  On Tuesday, the National Prosecuting Authority successfully argued for the accused to be referred to the psychiatric hospital for mental observation following a diagnosis and recommendation by district surgeon, Dr Zelda van Tonder that Mafe suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The case has been postponed to the 11th of February 2022,” says Ntabazalila.
Parliament Fire | Unpacking latest developments in Zandile Mafe case: Nthabiseng Dubazana

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema says negligence was the main cause of the recent fire that gutted the National Assembly buildings at Parliament.

He says the arrest of the so-called suspect, Zandile Mafe, is being used as a scapegoat to divert attention from government’s negligence.

“Do you think in your rightful mind, a person would burn Parliament and then goes and sleep next to where you have committed a crime… there’s no such thing. So I think more than anything guys, it’s negligence. They’ve not maintained Parliament, you may find out the rats have eaten the cables, that why it started burning from the roof and there was a spark and that spark caused the fire,” Malema says.

Malema says negligence was the main cause of the fire:


5 months ago