Advocate Dali Mpofu and Luvuyo Godla reckon they have a pretty solid case and will be able to efficiently motivate why Zandile Mafe, the sole suspect in the Parliament fire, should be released on bail.

The High Court in the Western Cape is expected to hear an urgent application brought by Mafe’s legal team on Saturday morning, 15 January 2022. Given the magnitude of the case, large gatherings have been anticipated and there is heavy police presence outside the court and entrances have been barricaded to control movement around the court precinct.

The accused will not be present for the proceedings, which get underway at 11:00.

Mafe, a 49-year-old man from Mahikeng, faces several charges in connection with the blaze which engulfed the Parliamentary building, including housebreaking, theft, arson as well as terrorism – a more recent charge stemming from an explosive device allegedly found in his possession at the time of his arrest.


Zandile Mafe’s legal team, Advocate Dali Mpofu and Luvuyo Godla arrive at the High Court in the Western Cape. Video source: Storm Simpson

Former EFF Chairperson Dali Mpofu recently joined the case as a senior legal counsel after being approached by Luvuyo Godla, Zandile Mafe’s attourney who offered his assistance to the man upon his arrest.

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe is expected to preside over their application.

The state managed to convince the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court to refer Mafe for a mental evaulation after a doctor diagnosed him with paranoid schrizophrenia. Mpofu had denied to the court that his client was mentally challenged and said he would embark on a hunger strike if his bail application wasn’t granted.

It isn’t certain if Mpofu and Godla have any tricks up their sleeves, but they do maintain that their client is being made a scapegoat. They say it would be too far fetched to assume that Mafe would be able to orchestrate such an elaborate crime.

“Mr Mafe, if you look at him, if he would have any courage to go and commit a crime of housebreaking, he would simply go to a place where he would get financial gain, not this nature of a case. Hence we say that he is just a scapegoat, there is someone behind that,” Godla has said.

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