- Venetia Orgill hands out food to poor people around the Houses of Parliament every week and regularly served Zandile Mafe, the man accused of starting the Parliament fire
- Orgill believes that Mafe is a mentally challenged individual who is being framed for starting the Parliament fire
- She plans on wearing chains around her body outside the court at Mafe's next hearing on 11 January
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CAPE TOWN - Venetia Orgill, a Mitchell's Plain woman who feeds poor people outside Parliament, says she has interacted with Zandile Mafe on several occasions. Orgill believes that Mafe is being framed for the Parliament fire and is not an arsonist.
She added that when she gave food to Mafe, she got the impression that he was mentally unstable and had been living on the streets of Cape Town for a while. She deduced this from seeing him queuing to receive food from her regularly. Orgill noted that he was always alone.
“If anyone messes with him, he would never respond. He would turn around and walk away without food. I would then run after him and give him food. There were times when he said the food is dirty because his spirit clashes with it," Orgill said.
Plans for Mafe's next court appearance
Orgill wants to publicly show her support for Mafe by protesting outside the Cape Town Magistrate's Court during his next court date on 11 January. She plans on wearing chains around her body to show that she thinks Mafe is being framed, TimesLIVE reports.
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Orgill is not the only South African who shares this belief. #FreeZandileMafe has been trending on Twitter since his first court hearing on 4 January due to the volume of people sharing that they believe he is innocent.
According to IOL, most people using the hashtag have expressed their confusion over Mafe's conviction, as they cannot understand how he would be capable of breaking into and setting fire to a national key point.
Reactions to #FreeZandileMafe trending topic
"Seems too convenient that our police found him so quickly."
"Let the law enforcement agencies do their work."
"Why is everyone so quick to believe this man is innocent because he acts homeless?"
"It’s alleged that he was found with documents, among others. Really."
Carl Niehaus reacts to 'slanderous' remarks
In earlier news about the Parliament fire case, Briefly News reported that Carl Niehaus, a previous employee of the African National Congress, has been accused online of knowing Zandile Mafe, who is charged with starting the blaze.
The exact claim was that Niehaus and Mafe protested together in solidarity with former president Jacob Zuma by marching to Luthuli House in 2017.
Niehaus replied to the claims by announcing that he, together with his lawyers, will pursue a defamation lawsuit against parties who accused him of any association with Mafe.
Source: Briefly News