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Pre-trial hearing of Parly arson accused Zandile Mafe set to get under way

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Zandile Mafe (49) is accused of starting a blaze that gutted the National Assembly building on 2 January.

Zandile Mafe appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on 12 May 2022. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN – The pre-trial hearing of the alleged Parliament arsonist is set to get under way in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Zandile Mafe (49) is accused of starting a blaze that gutted the National Assembly building on 2 January.

Parts of the Old Assembly Chamber were also destroyed in the fire.

Mafe has been charged with arson, terrorism, theft and housebreaking.

He’s been behind bars since his arrest on 2 January, having made several court appearances and also failing to secure bail.

The State said that it would prove that Mafe engaged in terrorist activity by setting Parliament alight.

Prosecutors argue that once he set the building alight, he exited the Old Assembly Chamber through a window, with various stolen items including coffee, spices, official parliamentary stamps, crockery, a toaster and a sling bag containing personal items.

The defence maintains Mafe’s innocence and has vowed to test the strength of the State’s case when the trial gets under way.

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