Man, 49, arrested in connection with South African Parliament fire

A man has been arrested in connection with a large fire that severely damaged the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town on Sunday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa calling it a “terrible and devastating event”.

A police spokesperson said the 49-year-old man was facing charges of arson, housebreaking and theft, and would appear in court on Tuesday.

Firefighters have been working for hours to extinguish the blaze.

President Cyril Ramaphosa  vowed parliament’s work would continue.

Footage from the scene showed a plume of black smoke filling the sky, with huge flames coming out from the roof of the building.

Officials said the fire started on the third floor offices and quickly spread to the National Assembly (the parliament’s lower house) chamber, reports the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Cape Town.

No injuries have been reported.

Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo said the suspect is also expected to be charged under the National Key Points Act, which protects sites of strategic importance.

Further details were not immediately available.