Accused in St. George’s Cathedral arson case referred for mental observation

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A suspect accused of setting alight the basement at St. George’s Cathedral on Sunday morning in Cape Town has been referred to Somerset Hospital for mental observation.

The 40-year-old man is expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on arson charges.

Surveillance cameras from a nearby hospitality establishment showed a suspect close to the crime scene.

His lawyer, Shaun Balram, says his client has been wrongfully arrested.

“Firstly, once the observation is completed with the district surgeon, he will then be brought to court, and furthermore, once the state finalises their consulting we can get more clarity regarding the merits of the state’s case and we can then make representations to them. If the merits are not strong enough to proceed with the case today.”