Zandile Mafe, the man accused of starting the parliament fire, is expected to make a bail application on Saturday, 15 January.


National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that the State received a notice of motion for an urgent bail application for Zandile Christmas Mafe.

The bail application is expected to be heard at 11:00 on Saturday at the Western Cape High Court.

The alleged arsonist started his 30-day mental observation at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital on Thursday, 13 January.

This comes after the State successfully argued – in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday – that the accused must undergo observation after a preliminary diagnosis from Dr Zelda van Tonder found that Mafe suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

“The defence attempted to oppose the state application but failed and the accused threatened to go on hunger strike if his bail application was not heard.

“He protested that there was nothing wrong with him. The state argued that it cannot be blackmailed or held at ransom by the accused. ‘If there is a bail application and he doesn’t get released, does that mean he will go on hunger strike until he dies’?” said Ntabazalila.

Magistrate Zamekile Mbalo postponed the matter to 11 February for observation. Mafe’s defence, however,  indicated that they would make an urgent bail application, which has come to pass.

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