Jan 3, 2022 - World

Suspect in South African Parliament fire arrested, flames reignite

Smoke rises after the second fire in two days broke out at South Africa's National Assembly building in Cape Town

Smoke rises after the second fire in two days broke out at South Africa's National Assembly building in Cape Town. Photo: Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

South African police have arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the fire that engulfed South Africa’s Parliament complex on Sunday.

Driving the news: The fire, which destroyed the main chamber of a historic building, reignited Monday, AP reported.

  • The fire started at approximately 6am Sunday and damaged two additional buildings.
  • As of Monday afternoon, 34 firefighters were actively fighting the blaze, the Parliament said in a statement.
  • The suspect faces charges of housebreaking, theft and arson, as well as violation of South Africa’s National Key Points Act, which protects sites of strategic importance, according to CNN.

What to watch: The suspect, who was taken into custody Sunday morning, is due to appear in court Tuesday, per the New York Times.

What they're saying: "We are indeed devastated and deeply saddened. ... This democratic institution has a deep history which represents unparalleled heritage treasures for our country and a source of social unity and cohesion required in our nation building programme," the Parliament's presiding officers said in a press release.

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