Cape Town fire: Smoke billows from Houses of Parliament
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Flames and dark smoke could be seen across Cape Town after a fire broke out at South Africa’s Parliament just before 6am local time on Sunday. The Rainbow Nation’s President Cyril Ramaphosa called the incident “terrible and devastating”.
But reports now suggest high winds could have helped reignite the blaze in hot spots on the roof of the building.
Parliament’s spokesman Moloto Mothapo said: “The raging fire has just re-emerged and it’s now engulfing the entire roof of the National Assembly.”
Mr Mothapo added on Twitter: “Unfortunately, after almost two days of brave battle with the flames in the National Assembly Building, more fire has just been fanned up.
“Firefighters remain at the scene and are continuing with the fight to bring fire under control.”
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He continued: “Significant progress has been made by Firefighters in the battle against this afternoon’s flare up at the roof of National Assembly Building.
“By midnight #ParliamentFire had been drastically reduced.
“Further damages caused at several floors of the building.”
The blaze was thought to have been under control and before reports of another fire the number of firefighters at the scene had been scaled back to just a dozen.
The South African Parliament was not sitting due to a break in proceedings during the Christmas to New Year period.
No individuals are reported to be injured.
A 49-year-old man was arrested and charged with arson, theft and housebreaking.
The suspect is not thought to be a parliamentary employee.
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An elite investigations unit, known as Hawks, took over the case from the police after it emerged the sprinkler system in Parliament had been tampered with.
According to the Times, there has been much speculation about what could be the motive behind the alleged arson.
South Africa faced some security concerns back in July after deadly riots broke out in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
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