Was fire at parliament ‘orchestrated incident’?


The DA is concerned that there may be more than one suspect behind last year’s devastating fire at the parliamentary complex in Cape Town. The opposition party says it’s time for the State Security Agency (SSA) to get involved.

This follows after several screenshots of CCTV footage of the parliament before, during and after the fire were submitted to the Western Cape High Court earlier this week in the case against Zandile Mafe, reports News24.

The screen grabs – in which the suspected arsonist can be seen wandering around the parliamentary complex for hours before finally starting a fire – offer a shocking timeline of events that led to the fire.

“It is clear that the individual in question moved freely within the area for more than 24 hours without being spotted. This raises serious questions about the existing security measures and the possible involvement of others in this deliberate act,” says Dianne Kohler-Barnard, DA MP.

Kohler-Barnard says the photos that look like Mafe is talking on the phone are particularly worrying as they suggest possible communication with an external party. “This alone is enough evidence to justify a thorough investigation into who else was involved in this attack on our democratic institution.

“We call for an urgent intervention by the SSA to carry out a comprehensive investigation.”

Kohler-Barnard says it is extremely important to establish whether Mafe’s phone was analyzed by the investigators and, if not, why not. “Confirming or denying the analysis of his phone is essential to understanding the full extent of this incident. The possibility of a cover-up must be addressed transparently.”

RNews earlier reported that Mafe, the man accused of starting the fire on January 2, was found unfit to stand trial this week.

Kohler-Barnard believes that even people with mental health challenges can be influenced and harnessed by others. “The allegation that this act was orchestrated does not negate the importance of holding those directly involved accountable.

“The DA demands a thorough investigation by the SSA. It is essential to shift our focus from the individual to the wider context of what appears to be a deliberate and coordinated act, resembling terrorism, on the parliament building. The real culprits may be using the attention on Mafe to escape such investigation.”