Alleged Parliament Arsonist Zandile Mafe Unfit to Stand Trial, Mzansi Has Mixed Views: “Surprise, Surprise”

Alleged Parliament Arsonist Zandile Mafe Unfit to Stand Trial, Mzansi Has Mixed Views: “Surprise, Surprise”

  • Zandile Mafe, accused of setting fire to the Parliament, has been found mentally unfit for trial
  • Mafe was arrested after allegedly burning down the National Assembly in January last year
  • South Africans are torn about the latest development in the case, with some people saying he should still be held accountable

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has heard that alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe is not fit to stand trial for the plethora of criminal charges he faces.

Zandile Mafe gestures during his first appearance after his psychiatric evaluation at Western Cape High Court
Zandile Mafe has been declared unfit to stand trial. Images: Brenton Geach & Rodger Bosch
Source: Getty Images

Zandile Mafe's mental capacity brought to the court's attention

According to News24, an independent psychiatric assessment at the defence's request found that Mafe does not have the mental capacity to stand trial.

This comes after three state-appointed specialists gave varied findings. Mafe was arrested after allegedly setting the National Assembly on fire on 2 January 2022.

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He had been charged with arson, housebreaking, terrorism and theft, reports Mail & Guardian.

Mafe's case has been postponed until 1 September for the defence and prosecution to tell the court how they would like to proceed with the matter. For now, Mafe will be kept in the hospital wing of Pollsmoor Prison.

South Africans react to Zandile Mafe being declared unfit to stand trial

@NikschWerner sarcastically said:

"Surprise, surprise…"

@DaveThipe said:

"Eventually, no one will be held accountable "


"He's probably the @MYANC MMC for safety and security ."

@jeffjenc commented:

"Lock him up forever."

@Inigo_za said:

"Release the man back to the street where you stole him from."

@Masinge073 said:

"He is truly sick. He must be taken care of."

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@LB60967736 said:

"So basically, burn down Parliament and walk free."

South Africans baffled by alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s outburst in court, admits to being guilty

In a previous report, Briefly News stated that alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Christmas Mafe had much to say when he appeared at the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on Thursday, 13 July.

Before appearing in court, Mafe reportedly started ranting and raving from the holding cells.

News24 reports that Mafe admitted to intentionally burning Parliament because he wants it relocated. Mafe also asked the court to hand him a life sentence for setting Parliament, saying he is not afraid to spend that much time behind bars.

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Source: Briefly News

Lebogang Mashego avatar

Lebogang Mashego (Current Affairs HOD) Lebogang Mashego runs the Current Affairs desk. She joined the Briefly News team in 2021. She has 6 years of experience in the journalism field. Her journalism career started while studying at Rhodes University, where she worked for the Oppidan Press for 3 years. She worked as a lifestyle writer and editor at W24 and Opera News. She graduated with a BA degree majoring in Journalism and Media Studies in 2017. She's a recipient of the INMA Elevate Scholarship. Email:

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