Alleged parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s case postponed

Alleged parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s case postponed

The case against the man accused of arson after the fire at parliament last year, Zandile Christmas Mafe has been postponed to the 24th February for the state and the defense to engage on his referral for mental evaluation.

The parties have agreed that the accused be referred to a mental institution to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

However, they differed on the preferred psychiatric facility. The state wants him to be sent to Valkenberg Hospital but Mafe objects to the facility.

Proceedings in the High Court in Cape Town were delayed by a few minutes. A police officer told the judge that Mafe had requested food and he was hopeful that Mafe would come up from the cells. A moment later Mafe arrived for his brief court appearance after having appeared in absentia for a while.

He (Mafe) requested an interpreter in his mother tongue of Setswana, which was granted by the court.
Mafe and his legal counsel asked that he be sent for mental evaluation and the state acceded.

The state says Valkenberg is the only designated facility with the required specialists.

Judge Nathan Erasmus raised concern over the backlog at the facility and indicated that if Mafe jumped the queue, it would be an injustice to those on the waiting list.

The state has been requested to provide a report to explain why Valkenberg is more suitable than other possibilities.

There court will also explore an option for the accused to be referred to a facility in another province.

Mafe made gestures towards the prosecutor before he left the dock.





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