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Parliament fire suspect Zandile Mafe back in court

Parliament fire suspect Zandile Mafe back in court

Parliament fire suspect, Zandile Mafe returns to court today, after spending the last nine days behind bars. The 49-year-old was arrested on Sunday 2 January, accused of starting the devastating Parliament fire that destroyed the National Assembly.

The fate of Zandile Mafe, the man accused of igniting the fire which gutted parts of the Parliamentary precinct, lies in the balance as both the defence and state maintain they have a solid case to present to the courts.

Mafe is expected to return to the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 11 January 2022, in connection with the fire. His first appearance in the dock raised more questions than answers, with many wondering how a man of his profile even managed to pull off the whole thing.

He faces charges of housebreaking with the intent to steal, two counts of arson, possession of an explosive device and destruction of essential infrastructure. Mafe was reportedly found in possession of stolen property, including laptops.

PARLIAMENT FIRE SUSPECT ZANDILE MAFE BEING USED AS A SCAPEGOAT

Luvuyo Godla, who is Zandile Mafe’s attorney, maintains that his client is being used as a scapegoat and that the real culprits behind the Parliament fire are not being brought to book. Given the fact that Mafe is poor and unemployed, Godla reckons there is no way he would be able to orchestrate such a crime.

“It’s too far-fetched, it doesn’t even need a legal mind to see… no, no, no. It’s very deeper than what meets the eye… the mere fact of arresting this gentleman was just to cover up because it would have been a disgrace for police not to arrest anyone,” he said on CapeTalk.

Godla reckons the fire at Parliament was engineered by someone who has a particular goal.

“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”

Luvuyo Godla, Zandile Mafe’s attourney

ZANDILE MAFE’S LAWYER PLANS TO SUE NPA

At the same time, there have been some developments pertaining to the arson case against Zandile Mafe, which seemingly works out in the state’s favour – it has since been learnt that the 49-year-old man has already confessed to the crime.

According to the Weekend Argus, Mafe’s family was told by the Hawks, who are investigating the fire at Parliament that he already admitted to the crime after his arrest. But Godla says when he spoke to him, he hadn’t said anything about a confession – and has even questioned the legality of one having been made by his client.

“In legal terms, he could’ve given a statement that incriminates him, but it still won’t stand in a court of law because I wasn’t informed and I also didn’t receive the charge sheet,” he said.

 

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