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National Assembly ‘arsonist’ is being framed, says woman who fed him outside parliament

Zandile Mafe appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Zandile Mafe appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Image: Esa Alexander

A Mitchells Plain mother who feeds homeless people in Cape Town’s CBD believes the man accused of setting the National Assembly on fire is being framed.

Venetia Orgill feeds the destitute on Thursday evenings behind parliament.

Orgill said Zandile Christmas Mafe, who is facing a litany of charges including arson and theft, was among the homeless she fed.

She described Mafe as mentally challenged and vowed to wear chains and protest outside the Cape Town magistrate’s court when he appears there on Tuesday.

“I have been feeding the homeless behind parliament for a number of years,” she said.

“This guy has been in the street for some time. He has been a regular in the feeding line.

“He is mentally challenged. I say this because he is always alone, he comes to the line alone to fetch his food.

“If anyone messes with him, he would never respond. He would turn around and walk away without food. I would then run after him and give him food.

“There were times when he said the food is dirty because his spirit clashes with it.”

Orgill believes he was “definitely not able” to burn parliament.

“I am so adamant it is not him and he is being used as a scapegoat. I am prepared to wear my chains when he appears next Tuesday. I really want to make a big impact at court. I will have my big chains on me.”

TimesLIVE


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