Parliament Fire: Suspect in the National Assembly Blaze Named, Lawyer Says He's Simply a Scapegoat

Parliament Fire: Suspect in the National Assembly Blaze Named, Lawyer Says He's Simply a Scapegoat

  • The man who was arrested in connection to the fire that engulfed Parliament in Cape Town has made his first court appearance on Tuesday, 4 January
  • Zandile Christmas Mafe was not represented by a state attorney but was by Luvuyo Godla, a private lawyer
  • Mafe's legal representative alluded that his client was merely being used as a scapegoat for the actions of higher-ups

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Briefly News on your News Feed!

CAPE TOWN - The 49-year-old man being accused of setting Parliament building alight has been publicly named. Zandile Christmas Mafe made a brief appearance in court on Tuesday, 4 January.

Mafe reportedly managed to sneak into the national key point without being detected by security on Sunday. Reports state that he was arrested after he was found in the burning building by firefighters.

Read also

Zandile Mafe accused of robbery during Parliament fire in Cape Town, denies all allegations

Before court proceedings, the accused took off his mask and turned for the camera before he was ordered by police to put it back on.

Parliament Fire, Suspect, National Assembly Blaze, Zandile Christmas Mafe, Scapegoat, Cape Town
Zandile Christmas Mafe has been arrested for his involvement in the fire that broke out at Parliament. Image: Rodger Bosch
Source: Getty Images

News24 reports that Mafe's case has been postponed for seven days at the request of the National Prosecuting Authority, who stated more time would be needed to carry out investigations as well as verify that Mafe is not a flight risk.

PAY ATTENTION: Never miss breaking news – join Briefly News' Telegram channel!

The state added that assessments of the extent of the damage to Parliament still needs to be done.

The Western Cape NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila held a media briefing outside the courthouse and stated that Mafe is facing multiple charges that include housebreaking, theft, two counts of arson, possession of an explosive device and destruction of infrastructure, according to eNCA.

Read also

DA does not want the police to investigate the Parliament fire, calls for an independent forensic team

The case will resume on 11 January, 2022.

Mafe's attorney says he pleads not guilty

Mafe's private lawyer Luvuyo Godla also held a brief media briefing and stated that his client should have been released on bail because he is not a flight risk. Godla added that Mafe has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces.

He also says there are other people who can be blamed for the fire and that Mafe is being made the scapegoat. Godla says the blame should be placed on the Executive and Legislature.

"This is not a person who is supposed to be apprehended. This one is a scapegoat. What interest would that man have in Parliament? How would that person get access to Parliament and how would he know where to go in Parliament and burn? We have a scapegoat in front of ourselves," says Godla.

South Africans agree that Mafe is being made a scapegoat

Read also

EFF and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane call for Parliament to be moved to Pretoria, Mzansi disagrees

Social media users agree with Mafe's lawyer that he is merely the fall guy for the Parliament fire. Some people allege that the African National Congress is to blame for the blaze.

Here are some comments:

@thulasindi said:

"They just pulled this unfortunate man off Long Street & even if he did do it then were they outsmarted by someone that is obviously unwell? You can't have the "crazy man scapegoat" without showing how actually inept you are at securing anything you were tasked to."

@EdgarLegoale said:

"Guys honestly, what will this poor man benefit from Destroying parliament mara? Eyesona motho o sebediswa ele scapegoat serious. After the case, his attorney must sue the state for wrongful arrest #ParliamentAttack #parliamentonfire"

@MusawenkhosiDl2 said:

"Cyril is always looking for a scapegoat !! This poor guy was planted and given the files. Where is the CCTV footage?"

Read also

Campers and fishermen spot unknown man dump a mutilated body into a Pretoria dam

@Makarbatsi said:

"This government is so cruel towards the poor, especially black people, this guy is just a scapegoat."

Parliament fire: Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula says she will not take the blame for lack of security

Briefly News previously reported that the blaze that re-ignited at the Parliament located in Cape Town late on Monday afternoon has raised a few eyebrows with the Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula believing that there is more at play.

Mapisa-Nqakula stated during a brief press conference outside Parliament that she has a few suspicions about the fire and doesn't believe that the tragic incident is down to simply a man breaking into the National Assembly to cause mischief.

However, Mapisa-Nqakula stated that she cannot make a conclusion on the matter despite her suspicions of dark forces being at play and will wait for a final report from professionals to make a determination about what really happened.

Source: Briefly News

Online view pixel