Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist


Zandile Mafe’s psychiatric report remains sealed as case postponed to July

The accused faces charges of housebreaking with intent to commit arson, among others.


The contents of the psychiatric report into Parliament arson-accused Zandile Mafe will not be publicly disclosed in order to allow his lawyers to consult with him.

Mafe’s case was back in the Western Cape High Court following his two-month period of psychiatric evaluation.

The suspect was sent to a hospital in the Eastern Cape to determine whether he is fit to stand trial after objecting to being admitted to the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town.

Psychiatric report

Judge Nathan Erasmus indicated during the court proceedings on Thursday that he has received the report from Fort England Psychiatric Hospital.

Erasmus also noted that Mafe’s legal team, consisting of Luvuyo Godla and Advocate Dali Mpofu, could not consult with their client due to him being in a different province.

Mpofu told the judge would have to consult with Mafe before making a determination on whether the defence would dispute the findings of the report.

“We, therefore, have to fashion our own attitude to [the report] as the state has,” the advocate said on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Zandile Mafe objects to psychiatric evaluation at Valkenberg Hospital

He said the defence would also be in touched with the medical team that evaluated Mafe after receiving permission from the court.

Prosecutor Mervyn Menigo has already communicated the state’s position not to challenge the report.

“The position is if the parties are in agreement with the findings and recommendations, the court will just follow the recommendations [but] if it is disputed there is another process to be followed and we will only know as time goes on whether we will get there,” Erasmus responded.

Postponement

The judge, however, ordered the contents of the medical report not to be disclosed at this stage.

“In the instant matter, the defence had not had the opportunity to consult their clients about it, whether they wanted to dispute it or not. It goes to his medical condition, and I will, therefore, give them this opportunity to consult.

READ MORE: Parliament fire: Rubble yet to be removed as MPs inspect damaged buildings

“In the event that an agreement is reached on the findings before the next date I shall issue an order that the full contents of the court file can be disclosed,” he said.

Mafe has been remanded in custody at the Pollsmoor Prison until his next court appearance.

“In light of the prima facie evidence presented to me, I am going to order that the accused, Mr Mafe, be detained at the hospital section of the prison and I will endorse his warrant of detention to that effect,” Eramus added.

The matter will return to court on 13 July.

Watch the court proceedings below, courtesy of eNCA:

Parliament fire

Mafe faces charges of housebreaking with intent to commit arson, arson, terrorism and theft in connection with the Parliament fire on 2 January 2022, which destroyed the Old and New Assembly buildings.

The suspect was previously admitted to Valkenberg Hospital for a 30-day mental observation following his paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis.

He was later released from the hospital after his defence applied for a review of his referral.

READ MORE: Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe intends to sue government

At the time, the Western Cape High Court found that the referral was “substantively and procedurally flawed” and resulted in “a gross irregularity”.

Mafe has repeatedly dismissed suggestions that he is mentally ill.

His bail applications has failed at least three times.

According to the state, Mafe demanded in his affidavit that President Cyril Ramaphosa resign, that Chris Hani’s murderer, Janusz Walus, be released from prison and that a R1 500 grant be provided to unemployed people after he allegedly burned Parliament.

Read more on these topics

Dali Mpofu Western Cape High Court Zandile Mafe

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