Parliament fire accused Zandile Mafe is once again in the spotlight after it was alleged that he spent at least 30 hours inside of the National Key Point. A new report has detailed how Mafe reportedly made telephone calls and started the devastating fire by burning boxes.
The 49-year-old is facing charges including arson and even terrorism for his alleged crimes and is expected to apply for bail on Saturday.
Mafe sanity questioned: Demands Walus’ release from prison
Mafe was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent to Valkenberg psychiatric hospital after his second appearance in court for this matter. The recent report detailed how Mafe spent the entirety of New Year’s Day inside the Parliament buildings after gaining entry just after midnight.
Avoiding detection by crawling and covering his head with a jacket, Mafe reportedly set a pile of boxes alight 26 hours into his exploration.
However, the report’s most startling claim was that Mafe called police from inside Parliament. During this call he reportedly planned to start a fire unless Janusz Walus was released.
Walus is the infamous individual currently serving time for the murder of anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani. The report also indicated that the officers who were on duty at the time are allegedly facing disciplinary proceedings as a result.
Minister under scrutiny amid negligence claims
Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille is facing immense scrutiny after the fire gutted Parliament’s Old and New Assembly buildings. De Lille recently appeared before Parliament’s Joint Committee on Financial Management to provide an update on the incident.
A report handed to the Department of Public Works in 2020 was released for the first time during this sitting and exposed inefficiencies and non-compliance on fire safety.
Certainly, the report had called for Parliament’s safety measures to be overhauled and for a fire consultant to be appointed. These measures were ultimately never implemented in a failure that may well have prevented the damage to the uninsured historical buildings.