The case against the alleged suspect behind the Parliament fire in Cape Town has been postponed to 11 January.
Zandile Christmas Mafe pleaded not guilty on Tuesday afternoon leading to the magistrate to postpone the case to next Tuesday.
Mbalo ruled the state needs to determine the extent of the damage of the fire, and must determine whether the accused appears on a schedule one or a schedule five offence.
“The case has been postponed to the 11th of January for the state [and] investigators to confirm certain information… especially bail information which includes the residential address of the accused, whether the accused has assets and so forth,” NPA Western Cape spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila told the media outside the court.
“Investigators have not been able to go to Parliament… to the crime scene to assess how much the damage is because the crime scene was still active,” he said.
Meanwhile, Godla the lawyer representing Zandile Christmas Mafe the suspect is being made a scapegoat.
“This poor man is made a scapegoat for failures of executives and legislators,” Godla said.
Responding to questions on who is paying Mafe’s legal fees, Godla said: “That information is very privileged.” He later said he is handling the matter pro bono.
Two days after a fire in the national assembly, Zandile Christmas Mafe, 49, appeared 2 January in the Cape Town magistrate court on two charges of arson.
Mafe, who has lived for six years in Site B in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, appeared on five charges: housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, two counts of arson, one count of destroying essential infrastructure by “setting fire to the parliament building/national assembly” and for being in the possession of explosives.
Prosecutor Adnaan Gelderblom told the court the state would oppose bail because the preliminary charges fall under schedule five offences.