PARLIAMENT GOES UP IN FLAMES - 49 YEAR OLD ARRESTED
This morning around 20 firefighters were still on the scene of the fire that broke out in Parliament around 6 am on Sunday, 2 January 2022. The firefighters are attending to various hotspots in the National Assembly, located on the 4th floor.
It is suspected that the fire was caused by arsenal and a 49 year old suspect has been arrested after he was caught with suspected stolen property on scene, after being spotted by members of the Protection and Security Services. He is said to appear in court Tuesday 4 January 2022, facing charges for arson, housebreaking, theft as well as charges under the National Key Point Act.
The fire has affected both the Old Assembly Wing and the National Assembly Wing of the buildings of Parliament, which house the chambers of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The fire has been contained in the old wing. Firefighters are currently trying to control the fire in the New Wing, where the fire has affected the National Assembly Chamber.
National Assembly Speaker, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Amos Masondo, have expressed their appreciation to the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services for their prompt reaction and the work done thus far to contain the fire and limit the damage as much as possible.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, led by Minister Patricia De Lille, the Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa, the South African Police Services and security personnel of Parliament are in the Parliamentary Precinct assessing the situation.
No person has been injured.
The Presiding Officers of Parliament are distressed by this incident and the extent of the damage caused thus far to the precincts of the seat of the national legislature. They have urged all relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned in establishing the cause of the fire. The public will be kept updated.
The matter has been referred to the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State team for further investigation.