Parliament fire: Most media refused entry to urgent Mafe bail hearing

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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 Western Cape High Court barred almost all journalists from Zandile Mafe's urgent bail application in the Western Cape High Court on Saturday.

The main front door was locked and guarded by police. Keerom and Leeuwen Street were cordoned off by police too.

Court security guards closed the front door after saying only two people could go in.

They said only Media24, and the Cape Times and Cape Argus could go in.

Western Cape High Court
The Western Cape High Court.

Reporters from other national media houses were left shouting for entry at the locked door.

Then, a security guard said only the Cape Times and Cape Argus could go to court 26 where the case was set down for.

He refused to clarify whether this instruction was correct. Eventually, Netwerk24 secured access on the grounds of a written application, and two reporters from the Independent stable were let in.

A court official told News24 by phone that the barring is in line with court rules, and said the court was full.

Mafe is accused of a range of charges including arson and terrorism following a devastating fire that razed the National Assembly building near the court

Little is known about him, and bail applications usually reveal some personal circumstances.

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