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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Parliament fire: Rebuilding National Assembly to cost over R1bn

The final report on the fire which destroyed the National Assembly building has been handed over to the Speaker and the NPA

Public Works Minister, Patricia de Lille, says rebuilding the destroyed National Assembly will cost more than R1 billion.

The final report on the fire which destroyed the building earlier this year has been handed over to the Speaker and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The report estimates that it will cost over R1 billion to rebuild the damaged Parliament building.

“It’s just over R1.2 billion and that is the estimated cost by the development agency. So, once Parliament decides to redesign the internal part of the National Assembly,” De Lille said.

Zandile Mafe is standing trial at the High Court in Cape Town for allegedly starting the fire that destroyed parts of both the Old Assembly wing and the National Assembly wing of Parliament in Cape Town in January.

The 49-year-old is facing several charges including housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism, two counts of arson and theft.

Earlier this month, drama ensued in the Cape Town High Court when Mafe refused to appear in the dock.

Mafe was scheduled to make his first appearance at the Western Cape High Court on 12 August 2022.

The court heard that Mafe was lying on the floor in the holding cells in his pyjamas and would not get up.

ALSO READ: Parliament arson: Hearing postponed as pyjama clad Zandile Mafe refuses to appear in court

NPA Western Cape spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, said he was surprised when Mafe did not appear in court.

“The court orderly came up and informed the court that they were facing a situation downstairs as the accused was lying on the floor and they could not even pick him up. He refused to come up.”

Ntabazalila said they have already handed over 95% of the evidence against Mafe to the court.

The matter has been postponed to 2 September for another pre-trial hearing.

Additional reporting by Kgomotso Phooko

ALSO READ: Bomb squad called in to parliamentary precinct after suspicious package found

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