Zandile Mafe allegedly provided reasons for torching Parliament, court hears

Mafe, who is facing terrorism and arson charges, is applying for bail in the Cape Town Regional Court on Saturday.

Parliament arson-accused, Zandile Mafe, appeared in the Cape Town Regional Court on 29 January 2022 for his bail application. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The State claims that alleged Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe, has provided reasons why he set the National Assembly Chamber alight.

Mafe, who is facing terrorism and arson charges, is applying for bail in the Cape Town Regional Court on Saturday.

He’s been in custody since the blaze broke out on 2 January.

State prosecutor, Advocate Mervyn Menigo, read out an affidavit from investigating officer, Colonel Christiaan Theron, who interviewed Mafe at the Cape Town Police Station shortly after his arrest.

Mafe, during questioning, allegedly admitted to having set Parliament alight.

According to Theron’s statement, the 49-year-old arson-accused allegedly also provided reasons why he started the fire.

Mafe apparently demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa resign on 8 January and that convicted murderer Janusz Waluś be released from prison on the same day that late former President Nelson Mandela was freed from incarceration from Robben Island.

He also wants a R1,500 social grant for all the unemployed to be rolled out and demanded that the State of the Nation Address (Sona) not be held this year, referring it as the State of the Nonsense Address.

Defence lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, said that the information had not been authenticated and that the State was simply trying to create sensation.