Parliament fire: more damages caused to National Assembly
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Cape Town - More damage was caused to the National Assembly overnight following the flare-up of the fire in the national legislature.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo on Tuesday said the roof where the flare-up occurred during the course of the night has completely collapsed.
“There are several floors of offices where MPs sit which have been completely damaged as well. The fourth and fifth floors have been completely damaged as a result of the fire,” Mothapo said.
However, it was not immediately clear whether the office of Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had been affected by the fire.
“Because the fire seems to have re-emerged on the roof of the very same building where offices of the Speaker as well as the Deputy Speaker of National Assembly are, there is, of course, like I said, damage to the third, fourth and fifth floors.
“We are not certain yet as to whether that fire could have reached the offices of the Speaker as well as Deputy Speaker,” Mothapo said.
“Those offices are based on the first floor, and they are part of some kind of attached building. It is not necessarily completely into the building (National Assembly).
“We will actually make an assessment to determine if indeed there has been any damage,” he said, adding that the firefighters have not indicated damage to the offices yet.
Mothapo added that the national legislature was grateful that they woke up to the positive news that the firefighters seemed to have won the battle and had completely contained the fire.
Parliament is expected to receive a preliminary report on Friday morning from the experts probing the fire.
On Monday, the fire forensic investigators and engineers who are investigating the cause of the fire and assessing the extent of the damage caused did not have access to the National Assembly owing to the high temperatures in the building.
National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo said the investigations would be in full swing once the building was declared safe and handed over to the investigators.
“We wish to assure all the people of South Africa that we will leave no stone unturned to enable appropriate action to be taken by all relevant authorities,” he said.
Masondo also said some of the sections of Parliament close to the affected buildings were not affected by the fire.
These include the NCOP chamber and offices, parliament library, the museum and artworks and heritage objects, as well Kieskamma tapestry on the ground floor of the Old Assembly.