At least this time around no one got ‘necklaced’.
A fire has broken out at South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town.
The blaze started in third-floor offices and spread to the National Assembly chamber, local fire service spokesman Jermaine Carelse said, adding that no one had been injured.
Patricia de Lille, minister of public works, said the flames had been contained in the chamber of the National Council of Provinces – the upper house – but continued to burn in the National Assembly chamber.
“We can’t tell you exactly where the fire started,” she said, adding that it was a “very sad day for our democracy”.
The president and many of South Africa’s high-ranking politicians were in Cape Town for the funeral service of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which took place on Saturday at the city’s St George’s Cathedral, about a block away from the parliament precinct.
How better to commemorate the impact that Tutu had on South Africa than by burning parliament? And all this after Tutu went to the trouble of getting “aquamated” (spelling?). Aquamation, which sounds like an Adult Swim cartoon series, is supposed to be an environmentally friendly form of cremation. But I think his carbon footprint has been offset with the fire in parliament.
The updates are the best part of this.
National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is set to address the media on the latest developments relating to the fire that erupted earlier this morning.
Mapisa-Nqakula sets the record straight and confirms that the National Assembly is on fire.
The Speaker confirmed that recommendations following a report that was released after a fire last year are being implemented.
On 17 March 2021 a fire broke out at the Parliament’ Old Assembly building and at the time affecting certain areas including several upper floor offices and committee rooms.
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille says the national assembly is still burning.
“We have not been able to contain the fire in the national assembly chambers. Part of the ceilings have collapsed.”
Similar to Mapisa-Nqakula, De Lille cautioned against speculations of what caused the fire until investigations are concluded.
I’m going to go ahead and say that whatever the proximate cause, the root cause of the fire is the African National Congress.