The man suspected of arson was charged in the South African Parliament with arson, theft, burglary and possession of explosives. This afternoon, 49-year-old Zandel Christmas Maffei was brought to court, where he denied all allegations.
A fire broke out Sunday morning in Parliament House in Cape Town, destroying a large part of the building. The fire was just last night under control. The fire brigade is still active in and around the building, because the fires may erupt again.
Maffei was found in the burning building and arrested. The public prosecutor said he had explosives in his possession. His motives are not yet clear.
Mafi’s lawyer says his client is the victim of a person-change. The officers could have arrested him, otherwise the police would have failed. The customer, as a poor resident of A town In Cape Town they don’t even have money to buy food “let alone explosives,” according to the defense.
No one was injured in the fire. However, the shock is great. The House of Commons was completely destroyed. The roof of the oldest part of the building, completed in 1884, also collapsed. “It will take a long time to repair the damage,” Fire Chief Ian Schnittler said earlier today.
The facade survived the fire fairly unscathed:
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