Parliament ‘arsonist’ Zandile Mafe’s bail hearing back in court on Monday

Alleged parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s bail application will be heard at the Western Cape High Court next week.

The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Eric Ntabazalila, said a third judge had been appointed to be part of the bail hearing that will take place at the high court on Monday.

This after judges James Lekhuleni and Daniel Thulare reserved judgment after they heard marathon arguments during Mafe’s bail application appeal in April. The 49-year-old Mafe was arrested in January.

He has denied all the charges, but in February the prosecutors told the court that facial recognition experts had positively identified him from a video footage collected on the day of the blaze.

He was initially denied bail at the Cape Town regional court in February, where magistrate Michelle Adams ruled that the court was not satisfied that exceptional circumstances existed to permit his release.

Mafe’s legal counsel Dali Mpofu argued at the time that the repudiation of his client’s bail was flawed, saying it was based on a “so-called confession” that was not worth the paper it was written on.

Earlier in May, the Cape Town magistrate’s court postponed Mafe’s trial to June 9 citing outstanding forensic reports.

Ntabazalisa said at the time: “The delays on the reports that we are expecting [include] the damage report, as well as the engineering report. Both reports, we expect them to be ready when we come back on June 9.”

Also read: Parliament ‘arsonist’ Zandile Mafe’s case postponed to June

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