Zandile Mafe’s pre-trial proceedings postponed to January 2023

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Lawyers for alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe say they will consider referring him for mental evaluation but are not yet ready to proceed with the trial.

He appeared in the High Court in Cape Town for pre-trial proceedings on Friday, after failing to appear on previous occasions.

Mafe was arrested after a fire broke out at Parliament in January.

The blaze destroyed huge parts of the National Assembly and caused extensive damage to other areas.

Mafe faces several charges including arson, terrorism and theft.

His counsel had initially successfully challenged a decision by a lower court for his referral based on what they submitted as flawed procedures.

His lawyers told the court that they have not had enough time to consult with him and have also not had sufficient time to peruse documentation provided by the state.

The matter has been postponed until January 27, 2023.

Mafe will remain in custody.

During his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced that R2 billion had been set aside over the next three years to rebuild Parliament.

Godongwana said government is working closely with the Presiding officers of Parliament toward its restoration.

Mafe’s family has since expressed shock at allegations that he set Parliament on fire.

In the report below from 04 January, his brother told SABC News they believe in his innocence: 

-Additional reporting by SABC News