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Breaking News – Cape Town: Major blaze rips through South African parliament building

A large fire has severely damaged the Houses of Parliament in the South African city of Cape Town. Video footage showed a plume of black smoke filling the sky, with huge flames coming out from the roof of the building.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the scene and called it a “terrible and devastating event”. A man was held and questioned by the authorities.

Ramaphosa said that the building’s sprinkler system had not functioned properly. The blaze, which began shortly after 06:00AM local time (04:00 GMT).

He praised firefighters, who he said had responded to the fire in six minutes. Without their intervention the National Assembly would have been reduced to “ashes”, he said. Dozens of firefighters battled the flames. Officials later said that the entire parliamentary complex was severely damaged.

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