4 SAPS officials who were on duty during Parly blaze suspended

Police Minister Bheki Cele and police officials have briefed Parliament for the first time since the fire broke out earlier this month.

FILE: Firefighting crews at Parliament on 3 January 2022 as they work to extinguish to last remnants of a fire that started on 2 January 2022. Picture: Saya Pierce-Jones/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The police have suspended four officials who were on duty in Parliament when a fire broke out earlier this month.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and police officials have briefed Parliament on Friday for the first time since the fire broke out earlier this month.

The police have told Parliament that as much as access control was their responsibility, a number of inhibiting factors prevented the police from having complete access control.

They say the fence around Parliament was not high enough and the cameras were also malfunctioning due to a power outage.

But Sam Shitlabane, head of security and protection services in the police, said action had been taken against some of its members.

“You have the criminal process that is running and then you have the departmental one, which is looking at the security breach from the SAPS point of view. A departmental investigation has been instituted against the four members of the South African Police Service that were on duty.”

Parliament also received a briefing from the Cape Town fire department and Department of Public Works.

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the meeting that Parliament would be conducting its own independent investigation.