Fire breaks out again at South Africa parliament, man charged with arson

Fire in South Africa’s parliament again broke out after a brief respite, the fire brigade said, reported Sputnik News.

On Sunday morning a fire broke out in the parliament in Cape Town and a person was arrested and charged for arson.

A 49-year-old suspect, arrested in connection with the blaze is expected to appear in court on Tuesday and will face charges of housebreaking and theft as well as arson, an elite police unit known as the Hawks said in a statement, reported VOA News.

“It is alleged that he gained entrance through the window in one of the offices,” Hawks spokesperson Nomthandazo Mbambo told eNCA television.

Investigations were continuing into how the suspect had managed to evade security at the parliament and do the damage.

“There is a possibility of other charges being added as there was a security breach here,” Mbambo said, reported VOA News.

JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the national assembly building was on fire and flames had spread to the roof, Times Live reported. No casualties have been reported so far.

Smith also said that the 36 firefighters on the scene had requested more resources to tackle the blaze. The alarm was raised at 5 am on Sunday and the initial reports indicated the fire started in office space on the third floor and spread toward the gymnasium, Smith added.

The National Assembly is situated in what is known as the New Wing, which suffered the worst damage in the blaze. Currently, the firefighters are struggling to extinguish the blaze.


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