A man charged with arson of South Africa’s parliament said he “deliberately burned it”

A man who is facing terrorism charges over a fire that severely damaged South Africa’s parliament building last year said in the courtroom on Thursday that he “intentionally set the court on fire“.

Shouting and pointing, Zandile Mafe said he would “burn more” if Parliament were not moved from Cape Town to Bloemfontein or Pretoria.

The massive fire caused serious damage to the historic Parliament complex last January when it burned down various buildings, including the main room where legislators sat. It is still not fully repaired, is estimated to cost around $120 million and will take at least three years.

Mafe was arrested inside Parliament shortly after the fire started. He was charged with break-in, arson and terrorism, but his case was dropped after a judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he was fit enough to serve most of his life. court or not.

The judge overseeing the trial on Thursday allowed Mafe to end his speech, saying he did not want to “exacerbate” his “mental state”, according to South African media.

Judge Nathan Erasmus later said an expert report indicated that Mafe could not understand the wrongdoing of the acts he was accused of, despite the final decision on whether to hold a trial. criminal or not has been adjourned to next month.

Mafe has also challenged the court to give him a 25-year life sentence he could face if the trial continues.
“I’m not afraid of a life sentence,” he shouted.

The fire at South Africa’s democracy headquarters has sparked criticism of security procedures in parliament where members are taking a break and buildings are mostly empty. No one got hurt.

Mafe said he was angry about various issues in South Africa. He called the opposition political party that runs the City of Cape Town racist against blacks and also accused the government of not helping the poor.

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