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BREAKING: South Africa: Parliament building in Cape Town catches fire

Firefighters were present at the building as large flames and a huge column of smoke were seen at around 05:30 GMT.

A major fire has broken out in the South African parliament building in Cape Town.

Firefighters arrived at the building as large flames and a huge column of smoke were seen at around 05:30 GMT on Sunday.

Speaking to media outside of Parliament, Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille said it wasn’t the National Assembly building that had caught fire, as indicated earlier by the Cape Town city council, but the Old Assembly.

“It’s not the National Assembly that’s on fire. What’s coming up there is an extractor pulling all the smoke out of the National Assembly,” she said, according to local media outlet News 24.

She added that the flames had been mostly brought under control.

A spokesman for the city’s emergency services had previously told AFP news agency that the flames had spread in the National Assembly building.

“The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported,” he said.

There was no indication of what may have started the fire.

According to News24, 36 firefighters were initially sent to the scene. Authorities later called for additional resources as they tried to contain the blaze.

A major fire has broken out in the South African parliament building in Cape Town.

Firefighters arrived at the building as large flames and a huge column of smoke were seen at around 05:30 GMT on Sunday.

Speaking to media outside of Parliament, Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille said it wasn’t the National Assembly building that had caught fire, as indicated earlier by the Cape Town city council, but the Old Assembly.

“It’s not the National Assembly that’s on fire. What’s coming up there is an extractor pulling all the smoke out of the National Assembly,” she said, according to local media outlet News 24.

She added that the flames had been mostly brought under control.

A spokesman for the city’s emergency services had previously told AFP news agency that the flames had spread in the National Assembly building.

“The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported,” he said.

There was no indication of what may have started the fire.

According to News24, 36 firefighters were initially sent to the scene. Authorities later called for additional resources as they tried to contain the blaze.

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