Parliament suspends 9 officials over National Assembly fire
They form part of a group of 28 officials who have been identified in an independent investigation related to the fire that gutted the National Assembly building and caused widespread damage to the adjacent old assembly in January 2022.
CAPE TOWN - Parliament has placed nine of its officials on suspension on charges related to the fire that gutted the National Assembly building and caused widespread damage to the adjacent old assembly almost two years ago.
They form part of a group of 28 officials who have been identified in an independent investigation - that they may have been responsible for security and other lapses that contributed to the buildings coming under a suspected arson attack.
Only one suspect with no relation to Parliament is being held criminally liable for the fire, which will cost around R2 billion to repair.
Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George said the 28 identified officials were given an opportunity in October to respond to a notice of possible charges related to Parliament’s internal fire investigation.
Only two of them did not respond immediately.
George said some of those served with notices offered satisfactory explanations for their actions, and Parliament is considering whether they should receive professional development to address possible skills gaps.
But 13 other staff members who didn’t provide acceptable answers will now be facing disciplinary proceedings - and soon receive notice of the specific charges they face.
Nine of them mostly senior staff, have been placed on suspension with full pay and benefits, to minimise any influence they could have on others.
George said the suspensions are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the institution and ensuring an impartial process.