Police conclude investigation into parliament fire with more evidence linking Mafe to the case

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The Hawks say they have concluded the investigation in relation to the fire which occurred within the parliamentary precinct early this year.

They were briefing parliament on the progress made in the investigation regarding the arson as well as the renovation efforts so far.

Head of the Hawks Godfrey Lebeya says they are unable to provide full details about the matter as it is currently before the court.

However, he says they are confident that the investigation conducted will provide for a successful prosecution in court.

Lebeya and his team have expressed confidence in their investigation. He told the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament that the Hawks is ready to present its evidence before the court.

He had warned, however, that because the matter is currently before the court of law it was difficult to disclose any further details.

“The information that we are providing is that we do so with an understanding that this matter that we are dealing with is currently sitting at court. At times, you will hear people talking about the sub judice rule, commenting about the matters that are still serving before the court of law. So, we do this so that we respect that boundary. We do not divulge much.”

Lebeya has revealed that some of the statements made by Mafe can be interpreted as admission to committing the alleged crime.

“While we may have labeled the statement confession, it will be contested, which is why I am putting it in that fashion. But at least, it should be understood that there is a statement that shall have been made by the accused person which is bothering between what might be looked at as a confession or an admission, but obviously, an accused person when the time comes to defend himself in court, we may come to know what is this statement that has been presented.”

When the head of the Hawks was asked about any plans to look at conducting an investigation on whether Mafe was alone in this act as a suspect, he said a further investigation for any possible additional suspects has been part of the plan.

“We are looking at that possibility. So, the honourable members should rest assured that no stone was left unturned in coming to the conclusion that we are now ready to go to court. So, whatever evidence that might come at a later stage even during the hearing will be pursued. So, at this stage, all that we could link to this particular case is the accused that is now standing in court.”

In his first appearance in court early this year, it was recommended that Mafe be taken for a mental evaluation in hospital.

Lebeya does not rule out such a possibility again if necessary.

“It shall be recalled that this matter was also dealt with at the court regarding the issue of mental stability and the likes. So, those issues of evaluation were taken care of. And it is not the end. And I think it might still be done but at this stage, we can’t say anything than when the court should be of the opinion that there are questions around that aspect. They may direct that something be done on those grounds.”

The police top brass also revealed that senior police personnel are being deployed to take charge of the safety and security issues within the parliamentary precinct.

Divisional Commissioner for Protection and Security Services in the police Sam Shitlabane says this is part of a rapid response to heightened security measures in all areas of the institution.

“We have done the appointment of designated commander to parliament for commanding control. So, what we are basically saying here, we have appointed the full colonel that is responsible for the parliament precinct. You know the whole precinct, it means it will be under this full colonel which is Colonel Moloatsi and there is also Lieutenant Colonel.”