Granting alleged Parly arsonist Mafe bail 'not in the interest of justice'

Zandile Mafe, 49, was arrested on the day the blaze erupted on 2 January and was charged with terrorism and arson.

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 Cape Town Regional Court on Friday said it was not in the interest of justice to release the alleged Parliament fire starter on bail.

Zandile Mafe, 49, was arrested on the day the blaze erupted on 2 January and was charged with terrorism and arson.

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Magistrate Michelle Adams said the defence failed to prove exceptional circumstances why he should be granted bail.

However, the court found that Mafe’s testimony during his bail hearing gave substance to some of the information contained in the affidavit of investigating officer Colonel Christiaan Theron.

Mafe’s alleged confession will only be tested when the trial gets under way.

The case has been moved back to the magistrates court for another appearance on 11 February when the defence will appeal the decision to deny bail.

USED AS A SCAPEGOAT

Mafe's defence team insisted that he was innocent and was being used as a scapegoat.

The Cape Town Magistrates Court had referred him for psychiatric observation following his arrest.

His defence took issue with this and went to the Western Cape High Court, which ruled that the decision to have him admitted to the Valkenbeg Psychiatric Facility was unlawful.

He had to be discharged and sent back to prison.

Mafe's bail bid was meant to be heard a week ago but he contracted COVID-19 and the matter had to be postponed.