A large fire at the Capitol in Cape Town, South Africa, completely destroyed the parliament in which parliamentarians were sitting, a spokesman said yesterday that the flames were intensifying.
“The whole room where the members are sitting … burned down,” said Moroto Mosapo, adding that the flames hadn’t gone out yet.
No casualties have been reported so far, but President Cyril Ramaphosa told reporters that he had been arrested on the scene.
“Someone is now detained and cross-examined,” he said.
Completed in 1884, it is the oldest building of the Parliament building with a room with wooden panels, and the flame investigation that started around 0300 GMT yesterday began.
At dawn, I saw smoke swirling from the building against the blue sky.
“The roof of the old parliamentary building has collapsed and disappeared,” Cape Town’s mayor of security and security, Jean-Pierre Smith, previously told reporters.
The historic building contains a rare collection of books and an original copy of the already damaged former Afrikaans national anthem “Die Stem van Sui” (“Die Stem van Sui”).
“The entire building was extensively damaged by smoke and water,” Smith said, adding that “the fire is not contained.” After destroying the old building of the building, the flames spread to new parts of the complex currently in use.
“Firefighters are now trying to control the fire in the new building, where the fire is affecting the Parliament,” Congress spokesman Mothapo said in an online press conference earlier that day.
The majestic red and white building was still covered with thick black clouds at noon.
The first team of firefighters to arrive at the scene fought the flames for several hours, then withdrew and called for reinforcements.
After that, about 70 firefighters were deployed, some using cranes to spray water on the flames.
Former Cape Town Mayor and current Minister Patricia de Lille warned that it would still take several hours before the fire was extinguished.
Inside the room, a fine gray ash shower fell from the ceiling to the floor, already littered with debris.
Paramedics said they were worried that the fire would soon spread to an old room decorated with wood, thick carpet and curtains.
Images broadcast on television previously showed huge flames bouncing off the roof.
The area around the fire in a high-class residential area was immediately closed.
A cordon stretched to the square still decorated with flowers in front of the nearby St. George’s Cathedral, where the funeral of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the icon of anti-apartheid, took place on Saturday.
After a simple, unadorned mass with a cheesy casket, his ashes were buried in the cathedral yesterday, according to the instructions of the famous understated Tsutsu.
Cape Town has been the home of the South African Parliament since 1910, when an independent government formed a union under British control and became the predecessor of modern South Africa.
The site includes the National Council of Parliament and the Senate, and the government is based in Pretoria.
It was Congress that the last apartheid president of South Africa, FW Declark, announced plans to dismantle the brutal white minority government in 1990.
The Capitol of Cape Town consists of three sections, with new Parliament buildings built in the 1920s and 1980s.
In March, another fire broke out on the wings of the old parliament, but it was quickly contained.
Cape Town was hit by another big fire in April, spreading the flames of the famous Table Mountain overlooking the city and destroying part of the University of Cape Town’s library, which holds a unique collection of African archives. ..
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707338/Huge-fire-completely-destroys-SA-s-national-assemb Huge fire completely destroys SA parliament