A violent fire broke out in the grounds of the South African Parliament, in Cape Town, this Sunday, January 2. Part of the roof collapsed.
“The roof of the old building housing the National Assembly has collapsed, nothing remains of it. The whole has suffered significant damage caused by smoke and water, ”said the head of the city’s security and emergency services, Jean-Pierre Smith. He also adds that “the fire is not under control”.
In a statement issued by the South African Parliament, it is indicated that the causes of the fire remain unknown for the moment, however “the investigations are underway by the competent authorities”. The fire started around 5 a.m. in the oldest wing of the building, completed in 1884.
Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula saddened by the fire at Parliament pic.twitter.com/gB5fekDbA7
– Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) January 2, 2022
Although the origin has not yet been determined, “a person has been arrested and is being questioned”, according to the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, who visited the site. .
The fire affected the wings of the old Assembly and the National Assembly of the Parliament buildings, where the chambers of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces are located.
On site, the firefighters, who have been fighting the flames for more than eight hours, are currently trying to contain the fire and limit the damage “in the new wing, where the fire has affected the hall of the National Assembly”, is it specified.
No casualties were deplored, however the historic building which is occupied by a valuable collection of books and the original copy of the first national anthem in Afrikaans, “Die Stem Suid-Afrika”, translated as “The voice of Africa from Sud ”and sung during apartheid, was“ seriously damaged ”, according to AFP.