Parliament Arson Accused Unmasked As Christmas Mafe

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The 49-year-old man accused of setting fire to the Parliament buildings was unmasked on Tuesday when he appeared in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

The state opposed bail for the accused named as Zandile Christmas Mafe from Khayelitsha, who was allegedly found in possession of an explosive device when he was arrested on Sunday.

Jobless Mafe has secured a privately funded lawyer – Luvuyo Godla. He faces at least five charges including, breaking and entering, theft, arson, and breaching the National Key Point Act.

Mafe denies the charges and pleads not guilty.

The accused was remanded in custody to next week Tuesday, 11 January when his matter will be heard.

Outside court, the NPA said the accused must be charged under Schedule five in relation to the destruction of infrastructure under the National Key Point Act.

This would place the onus on the accused to persuade the court why they should get bail.

The defence lawyer later said arson was a schedule one offence and the accused should have been released immediately on bail. He said his client was a married man with a fixed place of residence.