Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

A large fire tore through South Africa’s parliamentary complex in Cape Town. cause great damage on a site that witnessed some of the country’s key moments.

As firefighters struggled to tame Sunday’s fire, a dark plume of smoke and flames rose high above the Cape Town sky. Police said a 49-year-old man was detained in connection with the fire, which destroyed offices and led to the collapse of some ceilings.

Officials said the fire started in the Old Assembly building, which was built in 1884 and originally housed parliament, but is now used for offices. It spread to the newer National Assembly building, built in the 1980s, where parliament now sits.

Authorities feared major damage to both buildings, which have sharp white facades, extensive roof linings and majestic columns, all of which are now hidden by flames and smoke. There were also fears that precious artifacts inside, including an original manuscript of South Africa’s Afrikaans national anthem, would be lost forever.

While the Old Assembly Building was closely linked to South Africa’s colonial and apartheid history, it was the National Assembly Building where former President FW de Klerk stood up at the opening of parliament in 1990 and announced that he was freeing the liberation hero Nelson Mandela from prison. and ends effectively. the apartheid system of white minority government.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and many of South Africa’s top politicians were in Cape Town for the funeral Saturday of retired archbishop and anti-apartheid Desmond Tutu at St George’s Cathedral, about a block away from Parliament.

Many in the country saw the fire as a double blow on the first two days of the new year, after saying goodbye to Tutu and then seeing their parliament burn.

“It really is a terrible setback,” Ramaphosa said. “The Arch (Tutu) would also have been destroyed. It is a place he supported and prayed for. “

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *