Departments shift blame over Parliament fire


Picture: Phando Jikelo / ANA

Parliament’s acting secretary, Baby Tyawa says that protection officials were on compulsory leave on the night of the fire.

She says however, that they were on standby and that police oversaw access control during that time.

She as providing feedback to Members of Parliament (MPs) on what had led to the devastating fire to Parliament.

Concerns around the security at the national key point have been raised, as the precinct had to have been breached for the alleged arsonist to access the area.

Department of Public Works and Infrastructure official Thembeka Kolele says that maintenance had been conducted on the key firefighting infrastructure.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has meanwhile called Minister Patricia de Lille to be dismissed.

The party accuses her of dragging her feet on releasing the report that found that Parliament was not complying with fire regulations.

The DA says that the report by audit firm BDO found that the ventilation system design and fire protection in the parliamentary precinct needed to be reviewed by a fire consultant.

The department had allegedly delivered the 2020 report to the Speaker last September.

But de Lille’s department did clarify earlier reports saying maintenance certificates from January and November last year confirmed that all fire safety equipment was in good working order in both the National Assembly and Old Assembly Buildings.



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