Amanda Watson
News Editor
4 minute read
3 Jan 2022
6:00 am

Who did this?: Burning questions of parliament fire

Amanda Watson

Reasons: sabotage, neglect touted as old Assembly’s roof collapses in blaze.

Smoke billows from the roof of a building at the Parliament precinct in Cape Town during a fire on 2 January 2022. Photo: Marco Longari / AFP

Was it arson, incompetence, negligence or simply a metaphor for the years of neglect from government? Questions around the fire which gutted the Old Assembly wing at parliament yesterday are raging as hotly as the fire, which continued to burn late into the afternoon at the National Assembly wing yesterday. The fire began, for the second time since March 2021, in the Old Assembly wing a little after 5am yesterday. According to Temba Gubula of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), the buildings were not safety compliant, which the union’s shop stewards had reported to parliament management....