In an unexpected revelation during his court appearance, Zandile Mafe, the accused Parliament arsonist, stated that he set fire to Parliament because he believed it should be relocated from Cape Town. The inquiry into Mafe’s fitness to stand trial began in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday and is set to continue on Friday.
Mafe’s comments emerged when a journalist inquired about his well-being, leading him to launch into a 10-minute rant. He expressed his view that Cape Town should not house the Parliament due to the minority of white inhabitants, emphasizing that the majority of parliamentarians reside in provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and Limpopo.
Mafe claimed to have spent three days inside Parliament while meticulously planning the arson. He noted his remorse at destroying the New National Assembly, describing it as a beautiful palace. However, he felt compelled to act because, in his view, the Parliament’s location was incongruent with the demographic distribution of the country’s population. This led him to initiate the fire in the National Assembly before proceeding to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) offices.
Zandile Mafe faces accusations of igniting the blaze that engulfed the National Assembly of Parliament in January 2022. The ongoing inquiry into his fitness to stand trial continues to shed light on the motivations and circumstances surrounding the incident.