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John Hlophe ruled that Zandile Mafe’s further detention at Valkenberg was unlawful ‘and should come to an end with immediate effect’.

Setting aside an order that National Assembly alleged arsonist Zandile Mafe be kept at Valkenberg psychiatric hospital for observation, Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe mused that he personally took Mafe’s word “for now” that he was “not mad, he knows what he was doing”.

The Judge President added that Mafe’s pro bono legal team, advocate Dali Mpofu and Luvuyo Godla, had conveyed as much to the court.

Mafe’s lawyers had been “wise enough”, added Hlophe, to say “no, we don’t believe what you are telling us, he knows what he is doing” with regard to an earlier one-page “cryptic” district surgeon’s assessment of Mafe diagnosing him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Reviewing and setting aside Cape Town magistrate Zamekile Mbalo’s decision to refer Mafe for 30 days’ psychiatric observation, Hlophe ruled that Mafe’s further detention at Valkenberg was unlawful “and should come to an end with immediate effect”.

Mafe, he added, should be placed in “a normal correctional facility and taken out of Valkenberg”.

On 11 January, prosecutor Helene Booysen informed the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court that a…

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