“Very often the situation is so dire that it is economically unviable and impossible to commute daily between the city and my home in Khayelitsha,” he said.
“During those times I seek shelter in the streets of Cape Town like many thousands of very poor people. One of my spots for doing so is in the vicinity of parliament.”
Mafe said the first he knew of the fire was when he was woken by police officers shortly after 6am on January 2. He was dragged into the parliamentary precinct and “given boxes to carry by those members of the SA Police Service”, he said.
“I do not know what the contents of the boxes were. My own belongings were confiscated.”
After being threatened by the “unknown white man”, he was taken to his home where police searched it, and when he appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court for the second time on January 11 he was “ambushed” when the state asked for him to be sent to Valkenberg.
Mafe said though he would not discuss the merits of the case against him, he maintained his innocence and intended to sue for wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and “the violation of my rights to freedom and human dignity”.
He added: “I have and continue to be negatively portrayed in the local and international media. I am used as a scapegoat for the failures of those who were supposed to ensure that parliament was properly secured.