Parliament's presiding officers to meet on Monday to assess fire damage

Firefighters were still on the scene on Monday morning, carrying out damping down operations after bringing the blaze under control on Sunday.

Smoke billows out of the National Assembly building following a blaze on 2 January 2022. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's presiding officers will meet with relevant roleplayers later on Monday, including Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille, to assess the damage caused by the massive fire in Parliament.

Firefighters were still on the scene on Monday morning, carrying out damping down operations after bringing the blaze under control on Sunday.

A 49-year-old man has been arrested and will appear in court on charges of arson and theft on Tuesday.

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It's also emerged that the water sprinkler system had been turned off.

Political parties have reacted with shock following the devastating fire.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba: "If these people can go to the extent of now burning our Parliament, a place where have to use it as politicians to protect our country, then we are in real big trouble."

Parliament is not currently in session because of the holidays, so no injuries were reported.

But this is the second fire there in under a year - back in March, a blaze broke out after an electrical fault.

AIC member of Parliament Mahlubanzima Jafta said that taxpayers should be asking questions.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling for an urgent meeting of the chief whips' forum to get a full report on the fire.

It is also demanding that Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille makes public all the documents in her possession regarding the previous fire.