South African parliament fire suspect charged with terrorism

Bombeiros combatem incêndio na sede da Assembleia Nacional da África do Sul, em Cidade do Cabo, 3 de janeiro

Firefighters fight a fire at the headquarters of the National Assembly of South Africa, in Cape Town, 3 January| Photo: EFE/EPA/STRINGER

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A man suspected of having The fire that devastated the Parliament of South Africa on the 2nd was charged with the crime of terrorism this Tuesday at a court hearing in which the prosecution revealed that he suffers from schizophrenia.

The suspect, Zandile Christmas Mafe, from 214 years old, was arrested on the same day of the crime. On 4 January he was taken to the Cape Town Court of First Instance, where the Parliament is also located.

Mafe was then formally charged with possession of explosives, trespassing, theft and arson at a site of national importance, but pleaded not guilty.

However, the Public Ministry today added the charge of violating the Law for the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities.

According to the indictment, Mafe “delivered, placed, unloaded or unlawfully detonated an explosive or other lethal device in, in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, namely the Parliament building, with the purpose, among other things, of causing substantial damage or destruction of such place”.

The accused appeared in court for the second time today, where the prosecution revealed what he underwent a psychiatric evaluation after being arrested and that doctors concluded that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

The prosecution wants Mafe to be examined at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town to determine his fitness to stand trial.

11140328Defense lawyer Dali Mpofu, one of the best known in South Africa, asked for parole for Mafe and said the suspect intended to go on strike. of starvation if he remained in custody any longer.

The court set the next hearing for in February and ordered Mafe to remain detained in a psychiatric care center .

Firefighters left the South African Parliament headquarters last week , after working for three days to put out the fire.

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