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Parliament suspends nine senior officials over fire

Nine officials have been suspended over the fire in parliament last year. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Nine officials have been suspended over the fire in parliament last year. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 19, 2023


Parliament has suspended nine senior officials over the fire that swept through the building and for administrative irregularities.

The national legislature said there were 13 officials who will face disciplinary action, but out of the 13 officials nine have been suspended.

It said it had initially identified 28 officials implicated in the matter.

However, some of the officials were able to provide explanations and the list was whittled down to 13 officials who will face disciplinary action.

Zandile Mafe is in court for allegedly burning parliament in January last year.

Parliament announced a week ago that it has made progress by fixing some of the offices that were damaged in the fire.

But it maintained that work on the restoration of the National Assembly Chamber and Old Assembly will continue and they expect to meet the deadline of finishing the project by the end of 2025.

On the officials that have been identified for the fire incident, parliament said disciplinary processes will now follow.

The national legislature said 13 officials would face disciplinary action, nine had been placed on suspension.

“Others failed to provide adequate explanations. Consequently, Parliament is arranging disciplinary hearings for these staff members, who will soon receive notice of the specific charges they face.

“Due to the serious nature of the allegations, nine out of the 13 staff members facing disciplinary action have been placed on precautionary suspension with full pay and benefits. This decision takes into account their senior positions and the possible influence they could have on their colleagues within the organisation,” said parliament.

It said the suspension of the nine officials will ensure a fair and impartial process.

The decision was taken to avoid any possibility of the swaying of witnesses.

Parliament will get legal experts and chairpersons of the disciplinary hearings from outside.

It said it is not take this situation lightly, and believes that it will be able to afford all the implicated parties an opportunity to put their side of the story.

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