South Africa’s Pubiic works minister confirmed that the fire that started on Sunday morning in the Parliament complex in Cape Town has spread to the National Assembly where lawmakers sit.
Initially, the fire was contained in the chambers of the National Council of Provinces, in the Old Assembly building, but it spread to the National Assembly Chamber.
“We have the situation under control for now. We will be continuing with the investigation as to the cause of the fire. For now, where it is burning, we’ve contained the fire in the chambers of the National Council of Provinces. The fire is currently in the National Assembly chambers, where we are also busy to contain that. This is a very sad day for our democracy because parliament is the home of our democracy”, lamented Patricia de Lille, South African Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure.
Lawmaker Steve Swart provided reassurance that the fire would not disrupt the normal work of members of Parliament.
“I just wish to give the assurance that members of Parliament will be at their posts, will be fully functioning, notwithstanding this, what appears to be a tragedy at this stage, a tragic fire, but we trust that it will be speedily contained”, reassured the parliamentarian.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and many other high-ranking politicians were in Cape Town on Saturday for the funeral service of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which took place St. George’s Cathedral.