South African Parliament catches fire: suspect “has explosives”

According to the police, Zandile Christmas Mafe was arrested in the parliament building

The prosecutor said that a man detained for setting fire to the South African Parliament in Cape Town found explosives at the scene.

Zandile Christmas Mafe, 49, was charged with arson, theft and break-in under the Explosives Act and appeared in the city court.

His lawyer said he was innocent in all the charges.

The fire broke out first on Sunday, completely destroying the National Assembly or the House of Commons.

No one was injured in the fire, but it shocked the country.

Mr. Mafe was the only person arrested due to the fire.

Nomsa Maseko of the BBC from Cape Town reported that he looked unkempt and dizzy in court.

When he arrived at the dock in shorts and a ruffled shirt, he took off his mask and turned 360 degrees when the camera flashed.

The police said that Mr. Maffei was arrested in the parliament building after the fire broke out, but his lawyer said that the arrested person was wrong.

The case was postponed for 7 days to allow the police to continue their investigation.

Firefighters said they had successfully contained the fire that reignited on Monday.

The strong wind caused the smoldering wood on the roof to catch fire again.

The video of Zhou Dahuo has been posted on the Parliament’s Twitter account:

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa-who admitted that the building’s sprinkler system was not functioning properly-praised firefighters for responding to “horrible and devastating incidents” within minutes reaction.

Government Minister Patricia de Lille separately admitted that the CCTV cameras were not monitored when the fire first started.

The Chairman of the House of Lords, Amos Massondo, stated that Sunday’s fire caused the National Assembly’s chamber to “completely burnt down”. Other areas of the parliament building, some of which date back to 1884, were also severely damaged.

Due to the holiday, the parliament is currently not meeting and no one was injured.

The building houses thousands of treasures, including historical books, photographs and important works of art. Officials say these treasures have been preserved.

People are particularly concerned about the precious Keskama TapestryIt is 120m (394 feet) long, records the history of South Africa, and may have been damaged or destroyed.

It is expected that this building will take several months to be used again.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said the city council chamber will be used as an alternative venue for council meetings.

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