The National Assembly’s roof is on fire again as firefighters try to extinguish the blaze once more.
Buildings in the Parliamentary precinct caught alight on Sunday morning and firefighters battled throughout the day and Monday morning to contain it.
Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed the news on Monday afternoon, describing it as devastating and distressing.
He said the fire had re-emerged on the roof of the National Assembly building and added that more firefighters were on their way to help battle the blaze.
“Fresh fire just broke out on the roof of the National Assembly building… The battle will be won,” said Mothapo.
Did Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula drop the ball?
Earlier on Monday, National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula got riled up when journalists insisted she should be held to account for the fire.
Mapisa-Nqakula was asked if she thinks she may have “dropped the ball” and whether she takes responsibility for the blaze.
“I have not dropped the ball and I am not responsible for what happened,” she said, visibly irritated.
She was further interrogated on whether the fire is an attack on South Africa’s democracy.
“Whatever happens to Parliament, is an attack on our democracy. This is a house where policy and oversight over the executive happens.
“If police report shows there was a deliberate attack, we have to accept someone is threatening democracy,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
On Sunday, Public Works minister Patricia de Lille confirmed that a 51-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the Parliament fire and that a docket had been handed over to the Hawks.
De Lille also said that the sprinklers in the building didn’t work because someone had closed the valves.
A report on the cause of the fire is expected within the next 24 hours.