Foreign News HEAT OF THE MOMENT INTERNATIONAL NEWS SOCIETY GIST SOUTH AFRICAN COURT CHARGED FIRE SUSPECT WITH TERRORISM By Admin Posted on 2 weeks ago 5 min read 0 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin By Agency Report As he made his second appearance in court on Tuesday, a South African court charged a man suspected of igniting a deadly fire that burned South Africa’s parliament with terrorism, in addition to robbery and arson charges. After the fire broke out on January 2, Zandile Christmas Mafe, 49, was arrested near the parliament complex and appeared in court three days later. Before the new terrorist allegation was filed Tuesday, he was charged with breaking into parliament, arson, and intent to steal goods, including laptops, dinnerware, and documents. According to a court document, the “accused is guilty of the offence of violating the provisions of… the preservation of constitutional democracy against terrorist and associated acts.” During a court pause, prosecution spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told reporters, “We have added a sixth charge.” A bomb was detonated inside parliament by the accused. “ On January 2, a fire broke out in the Cape Town complex before dawn, moving to the National Assembly, whose roof collapsed. Outside the courthouse, protesters demanded his release, claiming he was being used as a scapegoat. Mafe was “taken for mental observation on January 3,” according to defense lawyer Dali Mpofu, and was diagnosed with “paranoid schizophrenia.” Mpofu, a well-known lawyer in South Africa who has defended high-profile personalities such as former President Jacob Zuma, is requesting bail for Mafe. In sharp contrast to his initial court appearance, when he was bearded and clad in a grey shirt and knee-length denim shorts, he showed up clean-shaven and wearing a light blue shirt and a dark jacket on Tuesday. Since his arrest, there has been much disagreement in South Africa about whether Mafe, who was characterized as homeless by local media, was the one who set the building on fire. A group of about 30 people demonstrated outside the Cape Town magistrate’s court, demanding that Mafe be released, holding signs that said “Free Mafe,” “He is innocent,” and “He is not guilty.” The events of the night the fire started were recounted by one homeless person. He was sleeping near the parliament complex when he heard what sounded like a car accident. He later assumed it was the break-in that ignited the fire. The fire detection system appeared “faulty,” “sprinklers did not activate,” and they were last repaired in 2017, missing a February 2020 planned service, according to a preliminary study released last week by the mayor of Cape Town. The fire, which ripped through the wood-paneled assembly chamber where legislative debates take place, took scores of firefighters more than two days to put out. The fire caused no casualties, but the severe damage has rocked the country, forcing the authorities to move President Cyril Ramaphosa’s annual state-of-the-nation address to a different venue in Cape Town next month.