South Africa – In South Africa, the prime suspect in the early January fire at Parliament was charged with terrorism on Tuesday. Zandile Mafe, 49, appeared in court for the second time since being arrested on the day of the fire.
The suspect was arrested and charged with housebreaking with the purpose of stealing, theft, two counts of arson, and possession of an explosive device last week. The lawyer for the suspect believes that his client should be examined by medical professionals. “Only this morning, as you heard from the council, were we surprised. And it was only this morning that they revealed that my client had been assessed, and there is documentation to that effect, and that he will be referred for mental observation,” said Luvuyo Godla, Zandile Mafe’s lawyer.
Eric Ntabazalila, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, added: “With that letter, we did not want to ambush the accused. The fact is that the accused was sent for observation, and the observation revealed that he has paranoid schizophrenia. As a result, we asked the court to order that he be sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation for the obvious reasons: we don’t believe it is proper to proceed with the bail application while the accused may be deemed unfit to understand or be given instructions, “he explained.
Many others, on the other hand, do not believe the authorities and want the suspect released. Venetia Orgill, a Mafe supporter, is in this situation. I’ve come to show my support for Zandile Christmas Mafe, who I believe is innocent. Personally, I believe he is innocent; I know him to some extent; I am not friends with him, but as a homeless person in Cape Town, I do feed him from time to time. As a result, this is why I’m here today, “she stated.
The fire broke out in the early hours of January 2nd, completely destroying the main chamber of the National Assembly, where deputies sit. It took four days to totally extinguish the fire.