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‘It’s all rumours’: Defence lawyer on claims parliament ‘arsonist’ has Covid-19

Zandile Mafe's lawyer says he is yet to be informed that his client has Covid-19.
Zandile Mafe's lawyer says he is yet to be informed that his client has Covid-19.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

Zandile Mafe’s lawyer has dismissed as “rumours” reports the alleged parliament arsonist has tested positive for Covid-19.

The high court in Cape Town will hear Mafe’s application to review and set aside the Cape Town magistrate’s court’s decision to refer him for 30 day’s psychiatric observation at Valkenberg Hospital on Tuesday. Mafe is also set to bring a formal bail application on Saturday.

Reports emerged this week that the 49-year-old had tested positive for Covid-19, but his lawyer, Luvuyo Godla, said he was yet to be notified.

“I have heard those rumours,” he said. “I am yet to get any confirmation. I will treat those reports as hearsay for now.

“But even if he had tested positive, he will be available for his bail application on Saturday. He needs to isolate for eight days.”

Mafe was referred to Valkenberg Hospital after the state informed magistrate Zamekile Mbalo he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The prosecution said the district surgeon, Dr Zelda van Tonder, had recommended he undergo mental observation. Mbalo ruled in favour of the state and postponed the matter to February 11.

Mafe faces a litany of charges including one of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.



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