Offices deliberately set on fire, says DA

2014-09-23 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance offices in the provincial legislature were deliberately burnt down, the party said in a statement yesterday.

“Preliminary forensic investigation into last week’s fire, which gutted most of our Pietermaritzburg parliamentary office, suggests that this could be an act of arson,” said the statement.

“At this stage, there are indications that the fire was started by a person or persons. We have also been advised that there was an attempt to damage our information storage units including computers and printing machines,” it continued.

However, the police, one of the authorities investigating, said they had not determined the cause of the fire.

The party leaders refused to divulge the source that declared the preliminary findings.

DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said they would not reveal the source. “There are a number of investigations that are currently happening … We will not be revealing the source of this preliminary investigation.”

He said: “There were clear attempts to move our information centres … they had been moved from their original positions.”

Another MP George Mari said it is their belief that the fire could not have just started on its own. “We find it suspicious that our offices were burnt down after we opposed the building of a new premises … We believed there are more pressing matters that needed to be attended to.”

He said the R500 million that had been earmarked for the building of the new parliament precinct could be better used elsewhere.

The party statement added: “We will also further engage with KZN’s Community Safety and Liaison MEC to assist us in bringing this matter to its satisfactory completion. We are determined to get to the bottom of this matter.”

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the cause of fire is unknown at this stage.

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