Parliament blaze: Zandile Mafe to undergo psychiatric evaluation

Zandile Mafe appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where a charge of terrorism has been added.

FILE: Zandile Mafe is accused of torching Parliament’s National Assembly Chamber. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The man accused of torching Parliament’s National Assembly Chamber is to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Zandile Mafe appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where a charge of terrorism was added.

Mafe threatened to go on a hunger strike if not released on bail.

He will be remanded at Pollsmoor Prison pending the availability of a bed at Valkenburg Psychiatric Hospital.

He will then undergo a 30-day evaluation to ascertain if he’s fit to stand trial.

His lawyer Luvuyo Godla said they were caught by surprise when the state announced its intention to have Mafe admitted for psychiatric assessment.

"He was referred on the 3rd, which was a Monday. At that stage he was not legally represented."

The case has been postponed until 11 February, but Mafe’s legal team will apply for bail before then.