Updated: Apr 8
The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, has been seriously destroyed by a huge fire. It was the day following Archbishop Desmond Tutu's state burial at St George's Cathedral, near parliament when the fire broke out just after 06:00 local time (11:00 ET). A "terrible setback to what we were basking in yesterday," Mr. Ramaphosa said, adding that Archbishop Tutu would be crushed by the news. He lauded the quick response of the firemen, who he claimed had arrived in six minutes. He said that the National Assembly would have been reduced to "ashes" if not for their intervention. Dozens more firemen were sent in to put out the fire. There were reports that all legislative facilities had been seriously destroyed.
It is yet to be determined if any additional damage has been done to the ancient assembly hall's roof. Moreover, according to Jean-Pierre Smith, a member of Cape Town's mayoral committee for safety and security. the parliament's fire alarm only sounded after firemen were already on the scene.
As reported by authorities, the blaze began in offices on the third floor and swiftly extended to the National Assembly (the lower house of parliament). It is believed the incident has not resulted in any injuries and there is no indication of what sparked it.