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A 49-year-old man has been arrested following a fire that broke out in Parliament on Sunday and caused the burning down of the National Assembly.

The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town were damaged when a fire quickly spread inside the building after what is believed to be an arson attack.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, and Western Cape Premier Alan Winde visited the building on Sunday to assess the damage as the flames engulfed the roof and totally gutted one floor.

He addressed journalists outside of Parliament and said the fire was “a terrible and devastating event”.

“To wake up to the devastating news of the burning down of the National Assembly, it’s a terrible setback. But our officials have really acted with great capability and speed.”

The President praised the City of Cape Town’s firefighting team and congratulated them on a job well done saying their timing was excellent.

“The praise must go to the firefighters of the City of Cape Town. They intervened at the right time.”

He also remarked that it seems as if the building’s sprinkler system appeared to not be functioning properly.

Image credit: CNN

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