DA parliamentary chief whip Natasha Mazzone Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
DA parliamentary chief whip Natasha Mazzone Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

DA chief whip Mazzone counts herself among people to rebuild the gutted National Assembly

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jan 3, 2022

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The DA parliamentary chief whip Natasha Mazzone has raised her hand to be among those who will help rebuild the national legislature following the Sunday fire in Parliament.

Speaking to media outside Parliament, Mazzone recounted some of the damage caused to the National Assembly, which she called her home for the past 12 years.

“I hope Madiba looks on and I know that we will be able to build and rise from the ashes,” she said.

Mazzone sang the praises of the firefighters who battled and contained the fire.

A fire broke out in The National Parliament building in Cape Town. A total of 36 firefighters and six firefighting appliances are battling a fire in Parliament Avenue. The City Fire and Rescue Services received the call at 05:03 am of a building alight in Parliament Avenue. Roeland Street Fire was first on scene and with the assessment of the fire, more resources were called. Roeland Street, Sea Point, Salt River, Brooklyn, Goodwood, Milnerton firefighting crews on scene. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

“These men and women from the fire services have been unbelievably outstanding.”

She noted that the inside the National Assembly chamber was burnt and destroyed and the public gallery was half collapsed.

“It is absolute devastation. My heart, I won't lie, is breaking because to think that my home of 12 year looks like this is devastating.

“I will be one of those who will make sure Parliament is rebuilt,” she said.

Mazzone also said she would allow cretins who described the blaze in social media as beauty and they would come for Cape Town.

“We will not stand for that kind of action. This is the time that we must stand together as South Africans who took oath to look after our Constitution,” she said.

She said that Nelson Mandela was sworn in at the National Assembly and his successor Thabo Mbeki had delivered his “I am an African speech” in the same facility.

“It is now time for MPs, for political parties and for various levels of government to come together and make sure we rebuild a stronger Parliament,” she said.

Mazzone said the work by the MPs would continue despite the devastation caused by the Sunday fire.

She noted that there were many options including using the Good Hope Centre as an alternative venue for the National Assembly and an offer by the City of Cape Town to use the council’s chamber and city hall.

Mazzone said the damage was caused because fire sprinklers were never set off although firefighters arrived 10 minutes before fire alarms went off.

“This is a national heritage site before being a Parliament. Security was not up to scratch and there are heads that must roll,” she said.

“We must put people in charge of our heritage sites that know how to look after our heritage sites,” Mazzone added.

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Political Bureau

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