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South Africa: Suspected Parliament Arsonist’s Covid-19 Isolation and New Charges Delay Bail Hearing

Charges against suspected Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe have been consolidated. The main charge is housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson.

The legal team representing Zandile Mafe – senior counsel Dali Mpofu and advocate Luvuyo Godla – have to consult with their client on the new charge before finalising a founding affidavit in support of a bail application.

Mafe was previously charged with housebreaking to commit theft.

The bail application was scheduled to be heard on Saturday, 22 January 2022 in the Cape Town Regional Court. However, with this latest development and because Mafe tested positive for Covid-19 and was placed in isolation, the hearing has been postponed to Saturday, 29 January.

On Friday, 21 January, Eric Ntabazalila, the National Prosecuting Authority's Western Cape spokesperson, said: "The changes came after advocate Mervyn Menigo, the leading prosecutor in the matter, had studied the docket afresh, further consulted with the investigating officer and felt that the charges needed to be reformulated."

The new charge sheet against the accused includes the charges of housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, terrorism alternatively delivery, placement, discharge or detonation of an explosive or lethal device, arson and theft.

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