‘Arson attack’ at Luthuli House

Police are now searching the building for evidence.

The ANC's headquarters, Luthuli House, in central Johannesburg. Picture: WikiCommons

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC on Tuesday said it suspects an arson attack at its Luthuli House headquarters in central Johannesburg.

Staff members say a couch in the reception area was set alight shortly after 6pm, filling the area with smoke.

The building was evacuated.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said a bottle was left on the couch and it's clear whoever put it there was intent on torching the building.

"There are some remnants of a bottle and in our view, it's a bottle that was left there with an intention that it should explode."

In a subsequent statement, Mthembu said the ANC condemned what appeared to be an attempt to burn down the building.

He said the apparent arson attack was "foiled" by security personnel who extinguished the "ballooning flames that were almost reaching the ceiling of the reception area."

Mthembu said the ruling party is very concerned.

"We view this in serious light as it appears to be an act of attempting to destabilise the ANC through acts arson and sabotage.

"The police have taken over the perimeters of Luthuli House with a view to investigate the source of the fire and to ensure that there is no other pending threat to the building and people in the building," Mthembu added.

There have been no reports of injuries.