Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, says the final report on the fire which destroyed the National Assembly building earlier this year, has been handed over to the Speaker and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Zandile Mafe is standing trial at the High Court in Cape Town for allegedly starting the fire. Mafe is facing several charges including housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism, two counts of arson and theft.
The report estimates that it will cost over R 1 billion to rebuild the damaged parliament building. Minister De Lille explains, “It’s just over R 1.2 billion and that is the estimated cost by the Development Agency. So, once parliament decides to redesign the internal part of the National Assembly that will be considered what parliament wants to redesign the building.”
On August 12 drama ensued in the Cape Town High Court when Mafe refused to come to the dock. It was heard that after proceedings had started, he was lying down in the holding cells and wouldn’t get up.
The state was also hit by another surprise at Mafe’s revelation that he was on a hunger strike, however, the defence said it was ready to proceed to trial.
The matter has been postponed to the 2nd of September for another pre-trial hearing.