Man arrested over links to fire incident damaging South African Parliament

A man came into police custody after the massive fire and damaged the Houses of Parliament yesterday in Cape Town. The individual is charged with arson, housebreaking, and stealing, according to the police spokesperson, and will appear in court on Tuesday.

The fire was smashed after many hours of work by firefighters.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described the incident as a “sad and devastating catastrophe” but pledged that parliament would continue its work.

Footages from the scene on Sunday showed a plume of black smoke all over the sky, with massive flames coming out from the ceiling of the parliament building.

According to some officials’ reports, the fire started from the third floor of the building and soon, it was spread all over the National Assembly.

However, the National assembly was not taking any session and reported not even a single injury due to the holidays.

The suspect will also be levied under the National Key Points Act, which protects critical places, according to Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo. Additional information was unavailable right away.

In a statement on Sunday night, South Africa confirmed that there had been significant damage.

Mr Ramaposa, who himself visited the scene, said in an interview that the fire was a “terrible setback to what we were floundering in yesterday.”

He said that the building sprinkler system had failed, and he commended firefighters for arriving at the location in minutes.

According to Jean-Pierre Smith, an associate of the Cape town mayoral for safety and security, the roof above the parliament assembly hall was “completely gone”. The extent of damages inside the ancient chamber had not yet been determined.

“It’s impossible to tell if it’s harmed or not. We hoper it isn’t because it contains so many historical artefacts, but you can’t go in without smashing down the doors, which we don’t want to do, “he stated.

He also mentioned that parliament fire alarms only ran when firefighters were already on the site.