Zandile Mafe’s bail application at the Cape Town Regional Court delivered bombshell after bombshell without any final verdict. The first? Mafe revealed that he intends to sue the state for damages. He also claimed that he was friends with Eugène Terre’Blanche. Another bizarre claim police say Mafe made? That Cyril Ramaphosa is a serial killer. Mafe’s bail application was previously delayed by a week with him having to isolate after contracting COVID-19. Mafe is accused by the state of starting the fire in Parliament. He is also facing charges of terrorism as a result.
Zandile Mafe gets bail, makes bizzare claims
Mafe was represented by Advocate Dali Mpofu and has been held in custody at Pollsmoor Prison since his release from Falkenberg Psychiatric Hospital two weeks ago.
Mafe took to the stand. Things were relatively straightforward at first as he faced questions from Mpofu. Mpofu asked whether a stutter he has had had since he was a child, could be being used against him by the state. Mafe has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Mafe told the court that he had worked in a bakery in Capetown from 2014 to 2018. He explained that has been jobless since 2018 and “lost his dignity”.
Mafe explained how he ended up in the Western Cape. Mafe also revealed that he wants to sue the state for damages.
Things then quickly took a turn to the bizarre.
While being grilled by the State, Mafe claimed that he had been friends with Eugène Terre’Blanche when he was still alive. He also explained that he was demanding the release of Janusz Walus. Walus is behind bars for the murder of Chris Hani.
State Prosecutor Mervyn Menigo then read out an affidavit from the police detailing Mafe’s events. Police say Mafe made a FULL confession after his arrest. They also say he was “proud” of his actions. Despite this, Mafe told the court that he intends to plead not guilty.
Magistrate Michelle Adams made it clear that the affidavit and so-called confession, have not yet been deemed admissible evidence.
The state then said that Mafe told police he set Parliament alight for the following reasons and made several demands.
- He wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign with immediate effect
- He demanded the immediate release of Janusz Walus
- Mafe blamed Ramaphosa for the murder of Chris Hani
- He demand that a R1500 grant be given to all poor people
The state says Mafe told police that he started the fire, in order to ensure that there is no 2022 State of the Nation Address. He also allegedly told Police that it was “the right thing to do” to set fire to Parliament. That’s because it “doesn’t help people”.
Menigo then continued. He informed Mafe that police had found placards at his house in Khayelitsha. One placard read “President Ramaphosa is a serial killer.”
The state asked Mafe if they are his placards. He responded that he “can not dispute” that.
A danger to society and a flight risk?
Earlier this month, Zandile Mafe was sent to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital by the magistrate for a 30-day psychiatric observation. The defence applied for a review of his referral. He was released from Valkenberg two weeks ago, after Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe found that the correct processes had not been followed.
During proceedings on Saturday, Menigo showed a series of photographs of a man who appeared to be Mafe. The state explained that the photos show Mafe tearing curtains inside Parliament, in order to use them to set boxes of paper alight.
Mafe claims he was arrested while sleeping outside Parliament. Police say they arrested Mafe as he was climbing out of a window of the Parliament building.
The state then pushed forward with the bail opposition. When asked how he would stay in the province if granted bail, Mafe insisted that he has people who have offered to support him.
Mafe insisted that he will not run away as he wants to continue with the legal action against the state.
In a police affidavit read out by Menigo, Police claim that Mafe vowed that he would carry out the same attack on Parliament if his demands were not met.
Mpofu took exception with this and argued that the police officers who made the affidavits should also be questioned like Mafe was.
The State’s request to show a 15-minute video of Mafe allegedly moving through Parliament, was refused by the court. Menigo revealed that the state has 30 hours of footage of a man believed to be Mafe.
The State then described the 12 exceptional circumstances needed for bail, were “thumb-sucked” by Mpofu. Menigo then doubled down, accusing the defence of “failing dismally” to prove exceptional circumstances.
Mafe will remain behind bars until judgment is handed down on Friday the 4th of February.