Parliament arson accused Zandile Mafe's bail application to be heard again in court

Zandile Mafe appears in court.
Zandile Mafe appears in court.
PHOTO: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images
  • Parliament arson accused Zandile Mafe's bail application is expected to be heard again in the Western Cape High Court next week.
  • Mafe is charged with housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, arson, terrorism, and theft.
  • The case is expected to be transferred to the Western Cape High Court.

The Western Cape High Court is once again expected to hear the bail application of alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe next week.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the bail appeal application would be heard on Monday.

He said: 

A third judge has been appointed, and the bail appeal application will be heard on 30 May 2022. In April, Judge James Lekhuleni and Judge Daniel Thulare heard marathon arguments in the bail application appeal and reserved judgment.

Ntabazalila said on Monday the parties were informed that the arguments will be reheard. 

Mafe is charged with housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, arson, terrorism and theft. In April, during the application for leave to appeal the bail refusal, Mafe's pro-bono lawyer, advocate Dali Mpofu SC, argued that Mafe was being denied his constitutional right to freedom.

READ | Parliament fire: More delays as certificate authorising terrorism charges not yet ready

Senior advocate Mervyn Menigo told the court that having had regard to the evidence and the arguments made by counsel it correctly found that the appellant had failed to place exceptional circumstances before the court, which in the interests of justice, permitted his release on bail.

"The appellant has not advanced any arguments or raised any material misdirection on the facts and law which may lead this court of appeal to a finding that the decision of the "bail court" was "wrong" in terms of Section 65 (4) of Act 51 of 1977... The Appeal should accordingly be dismissed," he said.

Mafe, 49, was arrested in connection with the fire that gutted Parliament's National Assembly building in January this year.

Damage caused by the Parliament fire
A general view of the damage caused by the Parliament fire.

Since his arrest, he has been in custody.

Meanwhile, the case against Mafe has been postponed to 9 June by the Cape Town Magistrate's Court after Menigo told the court that a final damage report to Parliament would be ready on 20 May.

He also told the court that a crime scene and arson report would be finalised soon.

Advocate Menigo added that all outstanding reports would be ready, and an authorisation certificate was required when an accused was charged with terrorism.

ALSO READ | State making Mafe look unstable to hide embarrassment of Parliament fire, says lawyer

He also assured the court that the accused would be served with an indictment and the case would be transferred to the Western Cape High Court at the next court appearance.

Magistrate Ronel Oliver ruled in favour of the State and said it was in the interest of justice to grant the postponement. She requested that the indictment be ready to be served on 9 June.

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