‘The National Assembly itself is on fire’ - Mapisa-Nqakula

‘The National Assembly itself is on fire’ - Mapisa-Nqakula

Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula held a media briefing on Sunday afternoon to give an update on the fire gutting Parliament.

Parliament 02 Jan 2022

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Parliament precinct and has damaged both the Old Assembly Wing and the National Assembly Wing.


“I want to express our shock and sadness as we are preparing the opening of parliament for the State of the Nation Address, as the president has called for a joint sitting in February,” said Mapisa-Nqakula


“I can confirm that right now parliament is on fire, right now the national assembly itself is on fire. And this is the last report which that I received from the secretary of the National Assembly.”


She said the presiding officers are determined to ensure the State of the Nation Address continues.


The cause of the fire has not been determined, although there are suggestions of a possible arson attack in some quarters. 


Mapisa-Nqakula said while any suggestion of an attack on Parliament is concerning, she cannot speculate until all evidence is brought before her.


“I’m concerned about the issue that’s trending that parliament is under attack, I think it would be a sad day for South Africa, or anyone, to have an idea let alone the intention to go and attack such an institution.


“This is an institution where our Constitution was drafted and adopted. This is an institution where the aspirations of South Africans are discussed and decided . . . an institution where the laws of South Africa are discussed.

“It also has an oversight role on the executive, therefore anyone who thinks of attacking an institution of Parliament, actually attacks our democracy and attacks everything that South African people fought for.”


Listen to more local news below Jacaranda
Jacaranda FM

Show's Stories