Home South Africa News Protection services could have prevented Parliament fire

Protection services could have prevented Parliament fire

Protection services

Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George, says the two Parliamentary buildings would not have been destroyed by the fire if the Parliamentary Protection Services were on duty. George was answering questions from the media after he released the report of an independent investigation into the fire.

The investigation was commissioned by the Presiding Officers of Parliament last year. The probe looked into, among other things, possible security breaches. George says that Parliament would still have been standing had Parliament not been on forced leave, and it did contribute significantly to the vulnerability of Parliament.

George adds that the investigation also found that five officials were implicated in the security breaches.The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has welcomed the release of the fire report, including the investigation into maladministration.

NEHAWU Chairperson in Parliament, Sthembiso Tembe says, “We welcome the investigative report as presented by the secretary to Parliament on the issue of fire that gutted the National Assembly and also the Old Assembly. We also welcome the report as it relates to other issues of Parliament, issues of recruitment and interfering with the selection and recruitment process in Parliament. We also welcome the report in as far as it speaks to legislative sector support. Tembe says the union wants to see the immediate suspension of the implicated officials.

“We are vindicated because the report reveals exactly what we have been saying for all these years. It has always been our case that had the Protection Services of Parliament been there, had they not been removed by the management of Parliament, the fire would not have occurred. Even if it had occurred, the damage would not have been to this extent. So, we are happy about that.”

“What we are calling for now, we are calling for accountability. We are calling for consequence management. We are calling for the immediate suspension and the charging of the responsible officials, because in as much as the names have not been revealed, but we know because the Secretary was able to reveal the numbers. So, it means that they do have the names,” adds Tembe.

Source: eNCA

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