Suspected Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s lawyers 'ambushed'

The defence in the Zandile Mafe arson and terrorism case has stressed that they were ambushed by the State.

Advocate Dali Mpofu has joined Zandile Mafe's defence team. Mafe is accused of setting fire to Parliament. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The defence in the Zandile Mafe arson and terrorism case has stressed that they were ambushed by the State.

Mafe was accused of starting the fires at Parliament that left the National Assembly gutted and sections of the Old Assembly Building destroyed.

The 49-year-old's urgent bail hearing was set to be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Saturday but was moved to next weekend.

Mafe, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, will challenge the Cape Town Magistrates Court's decision to refer him for mental observation on Tuesday.

Mafe's attorney Luvuyo Godla said they were challenging whether the lawfully allowed procedures were followed ahead of deciding that he should be referred for mental evaluation.

NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila explained why Mafe's bail application was not heard, saying, “this application needs two judges to be heard. The judge president was the only judge on duty this weekend. All the other judges are on leave. So, he said he managed to find a judge that could sit with him on Tuesday.”