City of Cape Town defends releasing preliminary report into Parly fire

The report was released to the public last Friday, indicating that Parliament's sprinkler and alarm system had failed during the blaze, and were last serviced back in 2017.

Parts of the parliament precinct in Cape Town were left gutted after a fire on 2 January 2022. Picture: JP Smith/City of Cape Town

CAPE TOWN - A day before the bail application of the accused in the Parliament fire, the City of Cape Town has defended its release of a preliminary report into the blaze.

It was released to the public last Friday, indicating that Parliament's sprinkler and alarm system had failed during the blaze, and were last serviced back in 2017.

"The evidence, we're not going to be discussing that in the media, unfortunately. That is something that's going to be discussed on Tuesday, in court," Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Thandi Mbambo said.

They're preparing to oppose Tuesday's bail application for suspect, Zandile Mafe.

The Hawks have remained mum on the details of the evidence against him, but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has said that among that the arson charges, Mafe is also facing a count of possession of an explosive device.

It's unclear whether the city's fire report, which suggests negligence, will be used in the proceedings.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said that a copy had been handed to all relevant authorities.

"We don't believe in secrecy, we believe in the value of transparency. Everyone knew that that document existed. It had some interesting observations and findings and it may still be useful to the investigators," the mayor said.

Mafe returns to the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Tuesday.