Breaking: South African parliament gutted by fire

Fire in South African parliament

Fire in South African parliament

A fire erupted at the South African parliament in Cape Town on Sunday, with media coverage showing flames coming from the roof of the building.

The plume of smoke could be seen from some distance.

The fire was on the third storey of the building.

Initial reports indicated that it started in the office space and spread towards a gym, said Jean-Pierre Smith, a Cape Town mayoral committee member responsible for safety and security.

The roof area has caught alight and the National Assembly building is on fire, too, Smith said.

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AFP reported that firefighters were present at the building as large flames and a huge column of smoke were seen at around 5:30am.

“The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported,” a spokesperson of the city’s emergency services said.

There was no indication of what may have started the fire.

The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town consist of three sections, including the original and oldest building that was completed in 1884.

The newer additions, constructed in the 1920s and 1980s, house the National Assembly.

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