State rejects Mafe's hunger strike threat, says it won't be held to ransom

Zandile Mafe, through his lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, told the court he'll go on a hunger strike if his bail application is not heard.

FILE: Zandile Mafe, the man accused of setting fire to Parliament, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on 11 January 2022. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The State in the Parliament arsonist case said that it could not be held at ransom by the accused.

Zandile Mafe (49) has made a second appearance in the Cape Town Magistrates Court as the only accused arrested for the recent fires at Parliament.

Mafe, through his lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, told the court that he would go on a hunger strike if his bail application was not heard.

Senior State Advocate Helene Booysen told the court that Mafe was not entitled to bail but was entitled to a bail hearing.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, reiterated that the case was postponed not for a bail hearing but to obtain information.

"Also for the State to determine the schedule and to bring to court a schedule certificate and for the investigating officer to visit Parliament to determine the extent of the damage," Ntabazalila said.

Mafe will remain in custody until a bed at the Valkenberg Hospital becomes available for him to commence his psychiatric evaluation.

Advocate Dali Mpofu has stressed that his client was not guilty and emphasised that there was nothing wrong with Mafe.