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WATCH | Portrait of an alleged arsonist: What we know about Zandile Mafe

His court case has gripped the nation since he was arrested

19 January 2022 - 08:39

He has been described as a “humble man” and is accused of setting the fire which destroyed parliamentary buildings. 

The state has charged 49-year-old Zandile Mafe with terrorism, but those who know him say he would not commit such a crime. 

Who is Mafe and why is he at the centre of terrorism and arson charges?

TimesLIVE Video takes a look at what we know about Mafe’s life from his birth in Mahikeng, North West, to moving to Cape Town in search of greener pastures.

LISTEN | What is really going on with the parliament fire?

His cousin Sibongile Matiwane said Mafe fell on difficult times during the hard lockdown in 2021.

Mafe resorted to sleeping outside parliament, where he was arrested on suspicion of setting the blaze. He has been charged with terrorism and other offences and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

On Tuesday Western Cape judge president John Hlophe overturned Mafe’s court-ordered 30-day evaluation at Valkenberg Hospital and allowed his bail hearing to go ahead on Saturday.



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