Parliament fire accused Zandile Mafe expected to make second court appearance

Mafe faces charges relating to arson, possession of an explosive device and housebreaking.

Zandile Christmas Mafe, a suspect in connection to a fire at the South African Parliament, appears in the Cape Town Magistrates Court in Cape Town on 4 January 2022. Picture: RODGER BOSCH/AFP

CAPE TOWN - The man accused of setting Parliament alight is due back in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Zandile Christmas Mafe, 49, was arrested following the blaze that gutted the National Assembly chamber as well as sections of the Old Assembly.

Mafe faces charges relating to arson, possession of an explosive device and housebreaking.

Mafe will make his second court appearance before Magistrate Zamekile Mbalo.

Mbalo last week granted the State a seven-day postponement to obtain further bail information.

A key issue also is whether Mafe will be charged with a schedule 5 or schedule 1 offence.

Mafe’s defence attorney, Luvuyo Godla, said that his client was being made a scapegoat and wanted him to be released on bail.

The State has already indicated that it will oppose Mafe’s bail bid.