Parliament fire: Court orders Zandile Mafe's release from Valkenberg Hospital

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Zandile Mafe appears at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court in connection with the fire at Parliament.
Zandile Mafe appears at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court in connection with the fire at Parliament.
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach
  • The court declared Zandile Mafe's referral to Valkenberg Hospital unlawful. 
  • It ordered that he be released by Wednesday morning. 
  • He will be taken to Pollsmoor Prison, and his urgent bail application will be heard on Saturday. 

The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday set aside the referral of Zandile Mafe to Valkenberg Hospital after his arrest in connection with the 2 January fire at Parliament. 

Judge President John Hlophe declared the order unlawful, saying that Mafe was not questioned at all before being referred for psychiatric observation by the Cape Town Magistrate's Court. 

"The further detention of Mr Mafe in Valkenberg is unlawful and should come to an end with immediate effect," said Hlophe.

"He should be released first thing tomorrow [Wednesday] morning and placed in a normal corrections facility, and taken out of Valkenberg. That order was made improperly."

AS IT HAPPENED | Parliament fire: Alleged arsonist Zandile Mafe back in court

Mafe's lawyers had challenged the referral, saying it was a violation of his rights.

"Further detention in Valkenberg will be unlawful," said Hlophe. 

According to the charge sheet, Mafe intentionally delivered, placed, discharged or detonated an explosive at Parliament on 2 January.

The State abandoned the count related to damage to essential infrastructure, but Mafe now faces a Schedule 6 offence due to the new charge, which falls under the Contravention of Section 5 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.

This places the onus on him to show that he can be trusted to return to court, if granted bail.

His bail application will be heard in the Cape Town Regional Court on Saturday.

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