The family of Zandile Mafe, who is accused of starting the fire at Parliament in Cape Town, says they will do everything to prove his innocence. Mafe, who is originally from Mahikeng in the North West, was arrested earlier this week.
He is facing charges including arson and malicious damage to property. Mafe has denied the charges.
Mafe’s family say they are saddened to see him making headlines for allegedly setting the fire in Parliament. The family says Mafe left home in 2004 and moved to Cape Town. He had been doing odd jobs there since then.
His brother, Alfred Matiwane, describes him as a loner, reserved and polite, saying he would not hurt anyone.
“Really what happened to Zandile, I am very disappointed about it. Because from childhood when I grew with Zandile, Zandile is not a violent person. He never even harmed any person at school. I am so surprised when I hear that today Zandile is the one who burned the National Assembly.”
Mafe’s other brother, Zamile Matiwane, is equally upset and says they deserve to be told what led to his arrest.
“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. Somebody who does not have. Patricia de Lille as the Minister of Public Works and Majodina they should give us a full explanation as to what happened, we also need answers.”
The family says they will seek legal assistance as they believe Mafe is being wrongfully prosecuted.
Khayelitsha residents say Zandile Mafe only moved to his home recently