Zandile Mafe suspected of setting SA parliament on fire arrested

Zandile Christmas Mafe suspected of starting the fire that gutted South Africa’s parliament buildings has appeared in court and will remain in custody pending a bail hearing.

Zandile (49), from Khayelitsha made his first appearance before the Cape Town Magistrates Court earlier on Tuesday facing five charges relating to the incident.

Mafe faces several charges including arson, theft, housebreaking and contravention of the National Key Points Acts, which restricts access to government buildings.

The fire started at Parliament during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mafe’s attorney, Luvuyo Godla, has stressed his client’s innocence and feels Mafe should have been released on bail on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the State was granted a seven-day postponement to verify bail information and to inspect the crime scene, with Mafe remaining behind bars.