A fire that devastated South Africa’s parliament was finally contained on Tuesday after a two-day battle, firefighters said, as a man appeared in court to face charges of starting the blaze
Johannesburg, Jan 4 (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 4th Jan, 2022 ) :A fire that devastated South Africa‘s parliament was finally contained on Tuesday after a two-day battle, firefighters said, as a man appeared in court to face charges of starting the blaze.
The blaze was initially declared under control on Monday but then flared up again, fanned by strong winds.
“Firefighters managed to contain the fire just before 12:00 last night,” spokesman Jermaine Carelse told AFP.
There were fresh flames again early Tuesday, he added, which firefighters extinguished.
“We currently have four fire engines on scene with approximately 20 staff members that will monitor the situation throughout the day.” A 49-year-old man, Zandile Christmas Mafe, was arrested in the complex on Sunday.
His attorney, Luvuyo Godla, who is defending him pro bono, said the defendant pleaded not guilty, while prosecutors argued against granting him bail.
He was remanded in custody until January 11 pending further inquiries, which depend on when investigators can gain access to the building.
– Catastrophe – No casualties have been reported in the fire, but the damage has shocked the country.
The blaze tore through the wood-panelled assembly where parliamentary debates are held and the president makes his annual state-of-the-nation address.
Carelse said such was the devastation that a parliamentary session would not be held there for a long time.
Parliament spokesman Moloto Mothapo said “the entire chamber where the members sit… has burned down”.