South African police charge man with arson over damaging blaze at parliament


CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South African police stated on Monday they’d charged a man with arson over a fireplace that triggered in depth harm to the nationwide parliament constructing in Cape Town, as firefighters struggled to extinguish the final stays of the blaze.

The hearth broke out early on Sunday at the parliamentary complicated, a few of which dates again to 1884 and consists of the National Assembly, or decrease House of Parliament.

It triggered the collapse of the roof of part of the complicated housing the higher chamber, or National Council of Provinces (NCOP), on Sunday and gutted a whole flooring, although there have been no experiences of anyone being damage within the incident.

A 49-year-old suspect arrested in connection with the blaze is anticipated to seem in courtroom on Tuesday and can face costs of burglary and theft in addition to arson, an elite police unit often called the Hawks stated in an announcement.

“It is alleged that he gained entrance by way of the window in one of many workplaces,” Hawks spokesperson Nomthandazo Mbambo advised eNCA tv, including that investigations have been persevering with into how the suspect had managed to evade safety at the parliament.

“There is a risk of different costs being added as there was a safety breach right here,” Mbambo stated.


Jean-Pierre Smith, a Cape Town mayoral committee member answerable for security and safety, stated firefighters have been nonetheless dealing on Monday with “hotspots on the 4th flooring of the National Assembly which continues to be smouldering”.

“Lots of books and bookshelves (are) smouldering,” he stated, including that the inside of the National Assembly had been extensively destroyed by hearth, water, warmth and smoke.

The National Assembly is located in what is named the New Wing, which suffered the worst harm within the blaze. The hearth was extra shortly contained on Sunday within the Old Wing, parliamentary authorities stated.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo in Johannesburg; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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