A man has been arrested after a massive fire ripped through the South African parliament. The fire reportedly started in the oldest wing of the building, which is said to be 138 years old.
The wing housed some old manuscripts and documents, and at press time after the fire, some of the documents were said to have been gutted.
According to local authorities, the third floor of the building, as well as the ceiling, collapsed due to the fierceness of the fire
The fire started at 3 a.m. yesterday Sunday, January 2. Firefighters from multiple stations in Cape Town, where the building is located, stormed the scene and were able to put the fire under control after several hours.
A 48-year old man, unnamed at the time of writing, was arrested on charges of theft and arson. Brig Nomthandazo Mbambo, a spokesperson for the Hawks, noted that the said man had gained entry into the building through a back window after jumping over a fence.
Parliament Down 🔥 pic.twitter.com/BCaNYANpSp
— L E S E D I (@_Hybreed_) January 2, 2022
— James Newbury MP (@newbury3186) December 30, 2021
Brig Nomthandazo Mbambo also noted that some items suspected to have been stolen from the parliament building were found with the man, who is not a member of the South African parliament.
So who decided to burn the Parliament in Capetown? pic.twitter.com/dVefIetIJw
— Rumani® (@RealMrumaDrive) January 2, 2022
We all should agree that instead of repairing this colonial establishment, @ParliamentofRSA must be relocated to a central and easily accessible area where the administrative Capital is. Keeping parliament in Cape Town is plainly illogical! The pillar is One Capital City! pic.twitter.com/hMLjoTc828
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) January 2, 2022
President Ramaphosa visited the scene but was not allowed to go too close to the balding for safety reasons. The arrested man is due in court on Tuesday.