'I'll put my life on the line for him': CT feeding scheme founder defends Mafe

Venetia Orgill - who feeds hundreds of homeless people in the CBD - said she knew Zandile Mafe and believed he was not capable of committing such a crime.

Parliament's National Assembly on fire again after a flare-up on 3 December 2022. Picture: @MolotoMothapo/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - A Cape Town woman running a feeding scheme said she was convinced the man arrested in connection with the fire in Parliament was innocent.

Venetia Orgill - who feeds hundreds of homeless people in the CBD - said she knows Zandile Mafe and believed he was not capable of committing such a crime.

Mafe was arrested by police on Sunday and subsequently charged with arson and theft.

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Orgill said she met Mafe while providing food for the homeless in Cape Town.

She said she knew the alleged arsonist's character and was willing to support him in court.

"I'm sorry; I will put my life on the line for him that he is not capable of doing something like that. He is being used, I think I'm going to use my training session next week and train myself outside the court."

On Wednesday, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said it was up to the courts to determine if the man accused of setting fire to Parliament did indeed commit the crime.

Mapisa-nqakula said personal views in this matter should not be entertained.

Mafe will make another court appearance next Tuesday.