After an urgent bail application was made, the legal team of Zandile Mafe now says they will fight back against a mental observation period for their client. Despite bringing the papers for the bail application to the Western Cape High Court, no application ended up taking place on Saturday. Mafe is accused by the state of starting the fire in Parliament and allegedly having an explosive device with him. He is also facing charges of terrorism as a result.
Zandile Mafe bail application postponed
The National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed that the bail application did not take place, due to the decision by Mafe’s team to challenge the court’s finding to have him mentally observed. Mafe was sent to the Falkenberg Psychiatric Hospital this week for 30 days of observation.
He has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. And there are question marks over whether he is fit to stand trial. Mafe’s team say they want to challenge the legality of that diagnosis. The legal team, led by Dali Mpofu, is questioning whether that referral to Falkenberg was made in the correct way.
That challenge will happen in court virtually on Tuesday the 18th. Once that is out of the way, the bail application will then take place on Saturday the 22nd of January.
The NPA has confirmed that it still intends to oppose bail.
Mafe still on hunger strike
“That remand of 30 days is very unusual. The law says 7 days. But when we were in court that remand was 30 days. It is so unconstitutional where one’s liberty is curtailed.”
Luvuyo Godla, Mafe’s Attorney
Godla also confirmed that Zandile Mafe is still on his hunger strike. He says that despite his and Mpofu’s best efforts, Mafe has not wanted to eat. Godla says he will now look to convince Mafe to end his strike due to the upcoming challenge of the mental evaluation decision.
Video: Strom Simpson / TheSouthAfrican
In court papers, Mafe slammed the terrorism charges against him. He went on to refer to them as a “transparent attempt and cheap strategy” to stop him from being granted bail. Mafe also says that his current conditions at Falkenberg are “unbearably inhumane”.
Mafe’s legal team say he is being made a scapegoat for the state.
Despite initial reports, Zandile Mafe is not homeless. His legal team have confirmed that he has lived in the Western Cape for 6 years. He has a home in the Khayelitsha area. His neighbours have told other media that he left his home a week before the fire at Parliament.