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Parliament arsonist suspect Zandile Mafe’s weekend bail bid postponed after he contracts Covid-19

The bail application of Zandile Mafe, scheduled for January 22, 2022, has been postponed. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

The bail application of Zandile Mafe, scheduled for January 22, 2022, has been postponed. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 21, 2022

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Cape Town - The bail application of the man accused of torching Parliament, Zandile Mafe has been postponed after he contracted Covid-19.

Mafe was due to appear before the Western Cape High Court on Saturday for his bail application, but the matter was moved after he went into isolation for contracting the virus.

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It has been reported that Mafe contracted the virus when he was at Valkenberg hospital, after the court had initially sent him for mental observation for 30 days.

But the High Court overturned that decision and was sent back to an ordinary prison. It has since emerged he would not be able to attend the bail hearing on Saturday because of Covid-19 and was in isolation.

The hearing was postponed for a week.

Mafe, 49, was arrested early this month after Parliament caught fire. He has denied that he was behind the burning of the national legislature.

The postponement of his bail application comes after the official opposition slammed ministers for not being available to attend a meeting on Thursday on the blaze in Parliament.

DA deputy chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said Police Minister Bheki Cele was supposed to attend the meeting, but it was called off because Cele and Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula couldn’t attend.

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“The DA will be writing to the chair of chairs, Cedrick Frolick, and the leader of government business, Deputy President David Mabuza, to urgently intervene on this matter.

“The ministers must be reprimanded by Parliament as a matter of urgency and the chairs of this committee sternly reminded of their role in holding the executive to account,” said Gwarube.

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Political Bureau

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