Democratic Alliance takes aim at de Lille over Parliament fire

The party said Patricia de Lille should get the boot for trying to stop the release on an independent report that found Parliament was not in compliance with fire regulations.

FILE: Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille tabling her department budget vote in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @DepPublicWorks/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says if any heads should roll for the recent fire in Parliament, the first one should be that of Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille.

The party said de Lille should get the boot for trying to stop the release on an independent report that found Parliament was not in compliance with fire regulations.

De Lille and officials from her department briefed a joint committee of Parliament on the extent of the fire damage and what action would be taken.

The DA said the report by audit firm BDO found that the ventilation system design and fire protection in the parliamentary precinct needed to be reviewed by a fire consultant.

The report was completed in 2020, but was only handed over to the speaker in September last year by the department. The report made 30 findings.

"... And you sat with your hands folded for a year asking or bleating where is the report. But heads will roll. Minister de Lille, the first head that must roll must be yours," DA MP Madeleine Hicklin told de Lille.

But de Lille's department did clarify earlier reports saying maintenance certificates from January and November last year confirmed that all fire safety equipment was in good working order in both the National Assembly and Old Assembly Buildings.

Parliament also told the committee that access to the precinct was the responsibility of the police.