South African Parliament Catches Fire Again

The South African Parliament has caught fire again.

 

Over 70 fire fighters who were deployed to deal with the fire yesterday. The fire fighters managed to extinguish the fire yesterday but it has reignited again.

 

A large fire which tore through South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town on Sunday caused  the roof of one building to collapse and gutting the chamber of the National Assembly.

 

However, no  injuries or fatalities have been recorded following the outbreak of the fire.

 

On Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa told reporters after assessing some of the damage that the work of parliament will continue.

 

He added that “I believe somebody is being held right now and they’re being questioned”, but did not give details.

 

 

 

“It does seem like the sprinkler system did not work as it was supposed to, but their (firefighters’) appearance and their coming here has saved a very important national asset of our government,” Ramaphosa said.

 

Ramaphosa arrived at parliament  shortly after 1pm to inspect the damage accompanied by Western Cape premier Alan Winde and public works minister Patricia de Lille.

 

“We must be thankful the offices have not burnt to the ground. Everyone acted with speed and we are thankful that everyone mobilised. There are certain things that do work,” he said. Ramaphosa described the fire as “devastating news”, especially a day after Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s funeral.

 

 

“It’s just really a terrible setback. The Arch would’ve been devastated as well. This is a place he supported and prayed for.”

 

 

 

He said the city’s firefighters should be praised for their efficient service.

 

“They intervened at the right time. Their appearance has saved a very important national key point.”

 

 

The complex includes a structure completed in the late 1800s that is home to the National Council of Parliament, the country’s upper house. The National Assembly building is a newer addition.

 

The blaze broke out a day after the funeral of Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who helped lead the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

 

The funeral was held at St. George’s Cathedral, which is a few minutes’ walk from the Houses of Parliament.

 

The Archbishop ashes were interred in the cathedral on Sunday morning, in a private ceremony for his family at the cathedral at the same time the fire was first spotted.