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Update: Parliament building set on fire

Update on the urgent bail hearing, the alleged parliament arsonist, Zandile Christmas Mafe’s lawyers for terrorism and arson-accused Zandile Mafe are challenging a court order for his referral for psychiatric observation.

Mafe faces five charges after his arrest for the fire which gutted parliament. He was admitted at Valkenberg Psychiatric hospital this week, after his second appearance in the magistrate’s court in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The bail application for the alleged parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe, has been postponed until next Saturday. In the meantime an urgent application to challenge his commitment for psychiatric observation will be challenged on Tuesday.

A magistrate previously ordered Mafe to undergo psychiatric observation at Valekenbert Hospital. According to reports in an affidavit submitted, Mafe says he was arrested while sleeping outside parliament. He says he was intimidated and told he would be sentenced to death if he did not cooperate.

His lawyer says he maintains he did not set parliament alight. The Hawks say the charges still stand and they are investigating the possible involvement of other suspects. Mafe, who has embarked on a hunger strike in protest to his arrest and custody, maintains he is innocent.

He is the sole suspect arrested thus far in connection with the fire.

 

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