Fire spreads to parliament building in Cape Town, South Africa, causing roof to collapse
A South African man accused of starting a devastating fire at Cape Town’s national parliament faces additional terrorism charges in the January 2 blaze.
Zandile Christmas Mafe was initially charged with breaking into the parliament building, arson and attempted property theft.
In his second court appearance over the incident, Maffei was charged on Tuesday “Crimes against … provisions to protect constitutional democracy from terrorism and related activities.”
Prosecution spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told reporters that the latest charges were added because authorities believed he “A device was detonated inside the parliament.”
Protesters outside Cape Town Magistrates’ Court held signs announcing “Freedom Master” and “He is not guilty”, arguing that the government is using him as a scapegoat.
Mafe’s defense attorney, Dali Mpofu, said his client was “For Psychological Observation” After he was arrested and officially diagnosed with “Paranoid schizophrenia.”
The blaze has raised concerns about the building’s fire safety system as the sprinkler system failed to activate.A City of Cape Town report later found the council’s fire detection system appeared to be “malfunction,” Stated it was last serviced in 2017.