Cape Town fire: Flames break out at South Africa’s parliament

A fire has broken out at South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town.

Flames could be seen and a column of smoke rose into the sky early on Sunday morning, beginning at about 5.30am local time.

The blaze began in third floor offices and spread to the National Assembly chamber, local fire service spokesman Jermaine Carelse said, adding that no one has been injured.

The roof area also caught light and 35 firefighters are on the scene.

Patricia de Lille, minister of public works, said the flames had been contained in the chamber of the National Council of Provinces – the upper house – but continued to burn in the National Assembly chamber.

“We can’t tell you exactly where the fire started,” she said, adding that it was a “very sad day for our democracy”.

Police have begun to investigate and President Cyril Ramaphosa has been briefed.

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