A huge fire broke out on Sunday inside South Africa’s National Assembly building in Cape Town, with a dark plume of smoke visible in footage broadcast on local media.
“Currently the fire is in the National Assembly chambers,’’ Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille told reporters outside the parliament.
She said parts of the ceiling collapsed and firefighters were still trying to bring it under control.
The fire destroyed the third floor of the old assembly building, which included office space and a gymnasium.
De Lille said firefighters could contain the blaze in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chambers near the National Assembly, preventing it from spreading further.
National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula warned against speculating on the cause of the fire. “We do not know at this point what the cause of the fire was,” she told local broadcaster Newzroom Afrika.
She asserted that a preliminary report on the fire’s cause will be ready soon.