×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

WATCH | ‘He’s a shy guy’: Neighbours of parliament arson accused shocked by his arrest

Zandile Christmas Mafe appeared briefly in court on Tuesday

Zandile Mafe, the man suspected of setting parliamentary buildings alight, appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Zandile Mafe, the man suspected of setting parliamentary buildings alight, appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Image: Esa Alexander

While there had been speculation that the man accused of setting the fire that destroyed parts of parliament was homeless, his Khayelitsha neighbours had a different story to tell.

Zandile Christmas Mafe was arrested on Sunday and was immediately linked to the arson. The fire shocked Cape Town residents, but those who live close to him in Site C found themselves even more amazed when Mafe was named as the alleged arsonist.

“He was a shy guy,” said Wendy Luhabe. 

“He wanted a place to stay so we referred him that side. Always on Thursday he picked up papers and cleaned the street,” she said. 

Mafe is due to return to court on January 11 and is expected to apply for bail. His lawyer Luvuyo Godla said the state shouldn’t be opposing bail for arson.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has listed five charges, including possession of an explosive device and house breaking. The NPA said it may add more charges. 


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.