Africa

New fire breaks out at South African Parliament

South Africa Parliament
Nardus Engelbrecht/Associated Press

A new fire broke out at South Africa’s Parliament on Monday, just one day after another fire swept through the buildings, Reuters reported.

Authorities confirmed that the latest incident occurred on Monday, with the fire burning at the complex that houses the two chambers of the Parliament.

“The fire and rescue service confirms that the fire at parliament has flared up. The void beneath the roof sheeting of the National Assembly is on fire,” a Cape Town fire services spokesperson said. 

Authorities arrested and charged a suspect with arson and other offenses, including theft, in connection with the incident, according to Reuters. 

In a statement, police spokesperson Nomthandazo Mbambo said the unidentified 49-year-old suspect gained entry to the Parliament complex through a window in an offices.

“There is a possibility of other charges being added as there was a security breach here,” Mbambo told a South African media outlet.

This comes as the initial fire at the Parliament complex happened on Sunday, causing the roof of the New Wing housing the assembly’s lower chamber to collapse. 

The roof of the Old Wing, which houses the upper chamber National Council of Provinces partially collapsed as well, Reuters reported. 

The Parliament said fire rescue crews were able to extinguish most of the initial blaze, and as the new blaze erupted, fire crews were reinforced with additional equipment and personnel.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the Parliament, scheduled for Feb. 10, will happen as planned. 

The suspect in the incident is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, Reuters noted.

Tags Cape Town South Africa

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