Bail application for man accused of torching South African parliament as supporters protest outside court

The man accused of starting a fire that gutted parts of South Africa's parliament complex applied for bail on Saturday 15 January. Advocate Dali Mpofu, senior counsel for Zandile Mafe, the accused man, brought the urgent application in the Western Cape High Court. It comes after a lower court denied him bail and sent him for psychiatric evaluation. Mafe is currently being held at the Valkenberg mental health facility. He denies having mental health issues. AZAPO (Azanian People’s Organisation) and PAC (Pan Africanist Congress) activists protested outside court, demanding his release. Police prevented access to the area surrounding the court. Venetia Orgill, who runs a homeless feeding scheme often used by Made, came to show solidarity with protesters. She said she the homeless are being scapegoated and she vouches for Mafe’s innocence.

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