Cape Town – Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s first oral question session in the National Assembly was delayed on Thursday after a fire was detected in the Good Hope Chamber Building, where the House holds its sittings.
The fire was detected shortly after 2pm before the oral questions started.
When the proceedings finally resumed just before 3pm, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said a capacitor overheated, causing a smoke in one of the offices.
“The smoke detector was triggered, further triggering the fire alarm system,” she said.
“I am informed that there was no damage as a result of this so the situation has been resolved,” she said.
She apologised to the MPs for the inconvenience caused.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement that the National Assembly sitting was delayed due to a spark and smoke emanating from a light at one of the offices in the Good Hope Building.
He said it was established that a light capacitor caused the spark, of which the smoke triggered the fire alarm within the building.
“The sitting had to be delayed as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the Members of Parliament and staff.
“The spark did not cause any fire and there was no immediate danger to the occupants of the building,” Mothapo said.