'No kettle, no court’: parliament 'arsonist' Zandile Mafe refuses to appear before judge

Zandile Mafe has refused to appear in court for a second time after being denied a kettle in his prison cell. Mafe allegedly set fire to the National Assembly in January.

Last month he lay down in his holding cell, refusing to appear in the Cape Town high court.

He has also requested other comforts, including a TV, radio, deodorant and Vaseline. His lawyer, Luvuyo Godla, said he has been granted permission for a radio, but cannot have a kettle for safety reasons.

In the past, prisoners have burnt other inmates with hot water and oil, resulting in cases against the state.

Godla has not spoken to Mafe about why he refused to appear in court on Friday, but said: “Seemingly the outcome was conveyed to him. I assume he is retaliating to that. That could be the reason he's not here.”

Mafe is appealing his bail outcome in the supreme court, with Godla saying his behaviour is jeopardising this. “If he conducts himself in this fashion while he in custody, what will he do when he is out on bail?”

However, Godla insists his client’s behaviour is not out of disrespect. “I do not think he knows the repercussions and the implications of what he is doing. I do not assume he disrespects the court. Maybe his way of expressing himself will differ with people,” said Godla, adding “I'm distancing myself from his behaviour. It’s not me who advised him not to come to court.”

Mafe is due to appear again on November 4.


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