Parliament Fire: Zandile Christmas Mafe's Family and Neighbours Say He Was a Shy and Quiet Person

Parliament Fire: Zandile Christmas Mafe's Family and Neighbours Say He Was a Shy and Quiet Person

  • The news that Zandile Christmas Mafe is the man who was arrested for the Parliament fire shocked his family
  • Two of Mafe's brothers cannot comprehend how he could have done something like this because he is quiet and a loner
  • Mafe's neighbours are equally surprised about his arrest because they say he is a shy guy who would clean up the streets occasionally

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CAPE TOWN - The family of Zandile Christmas Mafe say their family member is innocent of the crimes he is being accused of and the family is committed to proving that he did not start the Parliament fire.

Mafe was arrested shortly after the blaze at Parliament broke out and authorities say he was found in the precinct. He is now facing charges related to housebreaking, arson and theft, amongst others.

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Zandile Mafe's neighbour says Parliament fire suspect owned Janusz Waluś placards and an ANC T-shirt

Parliament fire, alleged arsonist family, justice, innocent, Cape Town, Khayelithsa
Zandile Christmas Mafe's brothers say they are shocked by the crime their brother is being accused of. Image: Rodger Bosch
Source: Getty Images

Mafe, who originally hails from Mahikeng in the North West, relocated to the city of Cape Town in 2004. According to SABC News, since his move to the Mother City, Mafe's source of income came from odd jobs.

Mafe's brother, Alfred Matiwane, says they were shocked and saddened when they saw his face all over the news and his name plastered in headlines. According to Matiwane, Mafe was a loner when growing up and had no violent tendencies.

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Mafe's other brother, Zamile Matiwane, says he wants to know the circumstances that led to his arrest. Zamile says Mafe is a quiet and reserved person and probably the only person who can tell us what really happened with the fire at the National Assembly, which flared up again even after the initial blaze was controlled.

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Fikile Mbalula questions the motive behind Parliament fire, Mzansi says he is asking the right questions

“What I can say is Zandile knows the truth, he is the only one who can tell us what happened, knowing him as a quiet person," says Zamile.

Zamile calls on Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille to give a full account of what happened.

Mafe's neighbours say he was a shy man

Like Mafe's family, people who live close to the alleged arsonist say they were also surprised to hear of his arrest. His neighbours in the township of Khayelitsha have also been able to clear up the speculation that he is homeless.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Wendy Luhabe says Mafe was a shy person. Luhabe says he would occasionally clean the streets and pick up trash on Thursdays.

South Africans share their thoughts on Zandile Mafe's family's comments

On social media, some people say the family may not be able to prove his innocence while others are surprised to hear that Mafe is not homeless and has a family.

Read also

R1 million reward for convicting those guilty for starting the Parliament fire, Zandile Mafe remains only suspect

Here are some comments:

@0820485184 said:

"So now he has a family ‍‍‍‍‍, South Africa, we live in!!

@missTee59900824 said:

"Family??? Where do they come from all of a sudden?"

@lewiphonik said:

"Didn't they say they didn't know where he was until he was accused of arson?"

Others raised suspicions around Mafe's real identity

Zandile Mafe’s neighbour says Parliament fire suspect owns Janusz Waluś placards and an ANC T-shirt

Briefly News previously reported that Patrick Mkwela, a neighbour of Zandile Mafe and a Khayelitsha street committee member, said that Mafe had an ANC T-shirt and placards demanding that Chris Hani's killer, Janusz Waluś, be released from prison in his place of residence.

Mkwela added that Mafe also had South African newspaper clippings from the 1980s in his possession.

Mafe lives in Khayelitsha Site B, where his shack was searched by detectives investigating the Parliament fire case, in which he is accused.

Source: Briefly News

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