South Africa: Parliament building catches fire in Cape Town News

Developing story,

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which was reported by security guards Sunday morning.

A large fire broke out in a parliament building in Cape Town, South Africa, and flames erupted from the roof of a building and smoke could be seen for miles.

Firefighters arrived at the building around 5:30 a.m. Sunday because of large flames and a large plume of smoke.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told a news conference that the National Assembly had caught fire, contrary to previous reports that only the old Assembly building had been damaged.

Mafisa-Nakakula said the fire would not stop the nation from addressing the nation in February.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille told a news conference that the National Assembly was still burning.

“We could not control the fire in the National Assembly chambers. Part of the roof has collapsed, ”he said.

De Lille warned against speculation about the cause of the fire until investigations were completed.

Cape Town City Councilor Jean-Pierre Smith said the third floor of the old assembly building was destroyed by fire and the roof collapsed.

Smith added that firefighters were still struggling to contain the blaze and that two planes had been used.

No one was injured in the blaze, security forces said.

Several hours after the blaze, thick smoke was still billowing from one of the many buildings in the parliament complex.

News24 reported that 36 firefighters were first dispatched to the scene and then called authorities for additional evidence as they tried to contain the fire.

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MP Steve Swart said the fire was “tragic” and told reporters that MPs would continue their work at a distance.

Samantha Graham, an MP on the Public Works Committee, expressed concern that the fire at the parliament building could have been prevented.

According to Graham, an external report by the auditing firm BDO highlighted the risk of fire.

“The Minister refused to give us the report, but handed it over to the Speaker of Parliament. The Minister and the Speaker are complicit in the event of a fire as a result of one or more of the hazards mentioned in the report, ”Graham News 24 was quoted as saying.

Speaker Mabisa-Nakakula has denied the allegations, saying the recommendations were implemented.

The report was released on March 17, 2021, as a result of an investigation into a fire that affected several areas of the old parliament building, including the upper floor offices and committee rooms.

Parliamentary officials said investigations were underway to determine the cause of the fire.

Firefighters sprayed water on flames erupting from South Africa’s parliament building [Jerome Delay/AP Photo]

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