The suspected Parliament arsonist was referred to Eastern Cape’s Fort England Psychiatric Hospital for a 30-day period of psychiatric evaluation, after refusing to do so at Vlakenberg, citing having had a bad experience there.

Suspected Parliament arsonist, Zandile Mafe’s 2022 detention at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital looks set to come under fresh scrutiny.

The Western Cape High Court has referred Mafe for a 30-day period of mental observation at the Fort England Psychiatric Hospital in Makhanda, Eastern Cape.

Through his defence team, Mafe has previously said he is not opposed to undergoing psychiatric evaluation, but he refused to do so at the Valkenberg Hospital.

In ordering Mafe’s relocation to the Eastern Cape medical facility, Judge Nathan Erasmus highlighted he was not making any judgement on what transpired at Valkenberg during Mafe’s detention there, at that time.

The court only heard that Mafe had a bad experience there.

“He is comfortable. All what he requested was that he does not want to be referred to Valkenberg Hospital for assessment. He was not opposed to assessment per se, but the place of assessment, that was the main issue,” said his defence attorney, Luvuyo Godla.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said that the state expects a report on Mafe’s mental observation to be ready by 8 May.

“We hope that from there we will be able to get a date for a trial or the report will explain to us what the state of his mind is.”

By: Kevin Brandt

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