Parliament fire must be seen as attack on a critical institution: Karthy Govender

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Constitutional law expert Professor Karthy Govender says the fire at Parliament must be seen as an attack on a critical institution of the state.

The fire which started on Sunday morning in the Old Assembly Building and spread to the new wing of the National Assembly flared up again on Monday afternoon.

SABC Reporter Mercedes Besent captures visuals of the fire that flared up again:

Govender says there should have been more oversight for a building with such deep historical value.

“It’s shocking that this should happen. It’s deeply saddening that a building of this stature could be subject to something of this nature and result in the damage that we now know has occurred. It has to be seen as damage to something that we hold dearly. This is the chamber where people’s representatives debate and decide on issues and so from a symbolic perspective, it is very much an attack on one of the institutions of the state if in fact this was deliberate.”

View from Old Assembly building: Mercedes Besent:

Firefighters battle blaze

Cape Town firefighters are battling to extinguish the blaze at Parliament.

Fire and Rescue Services have confirmed that the void beneath the roof sheeting of the National Assembly is on fire.

Visuals of the fire at Parliament by Mercedes Besent: 

Support from private and public

National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has lauded the overwhelming support they have received from both public and private entities following the fire.

She says they have received offers from among others, the Cape Town International Convention Centre to use some of its facilities while repairs go on at Parliament.

Mapisa-Nqakula also praised Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis who has offered the City Hall and the Council chambers for use by Parliament.