Zandile Mafe State

Zandile Mafe consulting his attorney Luvuyo Godla. Photo: Storm Simpson/The South African

State says Zandile Mafe’s cellphone records are being analysed – 30 hours of CCTV footage sent for enhancement

The cellphone records of alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe are being analysed to establish if he worked alone or if he was assisted or urged by others.

Zandile Mafe State

Zandile Mafe consulting his attorney Luvuyo Godla. Photo: Storm Simpson/The South African

Zandile Mafe made his long-awaited bail application in the Cape Town Regional Court on Saturday, 29 January. During the proceedings, the State detailed some of the evidence it has against the accused to prove the strength of its case.

STATE REVEALS ITS EVIDENCE

The accused is charged with housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, terrorism, arson and theft.

The State alleges that Mafe confessed to starting the Parliament fire on the day of his arrest. The accused also allegedly told the investigating officer, Colonel Christian Theron – whom the State says he made the confession to – how he entered Parliament and spent several hours in the building before starting the fire.

“The motive for the attack flows from his deeply held political, ideological and philosophical beliefs and also intense resentment with the South African government,” said the State.

According to Theron, Mafe threatened to repeat his actions if his demands are not met. The accused allegedly said he wants President Ramaphosa to resign; he wants Janusz Walus to be released from prison and he wants unemployed people to receive a R1500 grant.

Zandile Mafe
The Investigating Officer Colonel Christian Theron. Photo: Storm Simpson/The South African

The investigative officer’s affidavit also said that Mafe showed officers where he purchased the petrol he allegedly used to start the fire as well as how he gained entry to the parliamentary precinct.

Theron said the State is in possession of Mafe’s cellphone. The accused’s cellphone records are being analysed to establish if he worked alone or if was assisted or urged by others.

The State also said it is in possession of 30 hours of CCTV footage that shows a person wearing the same clothes Mafe was arrested in going through Parliament and starting the fire. This footage has been sent for enhancement.

Magistrate Michelle Adams did not allow the footage to be played in court on Saturday after the defence objected to the evidence. They said the State “ambushed” them again, as they had no prior knowledge of the video.

Magistrate Adams will deliver her judgement in the bail application on Friday, 4 February. Mafe was remanded in Pollsmoor until then.