Mafe ‘unable to appreciate the wrongfulness’ of burning parliament: Report

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Western Cape High Court Judge, Nathan Erasmus has partially lifted the ban on the publication of a psychiatric report of the alleged parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe.

Erasmus ruled that the findings can be made public, but not the diagnosis.

The defense previously asked for a ban.

Mafe was sent for a two-month observation period to determine if he understands the severity of the charges against him.

Parliament Fire | Alleged arsonist Zandile Mafe admits to burning down parliament:

Court proceedings were disrupted several times as Mafe was shouting profanities against whites and saying that over 5000 protests in the country were in support of his release.

Erasmus read out the psychiatric report findings.

“I also decided to lift the bar on the findings of the report as this is the report of the court filed with a court and therefore, a public document. I will, however, not disclose the diagnosis, which is this medical condition, but I will disclose the findings. The findings were; one, the accused is unable to follow court proceedings as to make proper defense; secondly, at the time of the alleged offence the accused was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of the action in question, and unable to act in accordance with such appreciation of wrongfulness.”

The arson and terrorism case Mafe has been postponed to the 10th of August by the Western Cape High Court to allow more time for the defence to consult with their client. The court refused to grant the six-week postponement sought by the defence today.

Mafe allegedly torched the National Assembly in January 2022.

His lawyer, Luvuyo Godla says they are struggling to find an expert psychiatrist who will contest a psychiatric report compiled for the court by the Fort England Psychiatric Hospital in the Eastern Cape.

“It was extremely difficult to get experts willing to help Mr Mafe. Most of them would say we are not available; some of them would say we can be available provided you bring Mr Mafe to our premises. Now, as a last resort, we only accepted the offer that one will interview Mr Mafe through a Zoom meeting, but we wanted a physical contact (and) not a Zoom meeting.”