ANC: Luthuli House fire 'attempt to destabilise us'

2013-09-03 20:09

The ANC has condemned what it describes as an attempt to burn down its national headquarters in Johannesburg this evening.

A fire broke out in the reception area of Luthuli House earlier, burning a couch and damaging glass. The ANC says the incident could be “an act of attempting to destabilise the ANC through acts of arson and sabotage”.

“The attempt was foiled by timeous intervention by our security personnel who used fire extinguishers to put down ballooning flames that were almost reaching the ceiling of the reception area,” said party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.

Mthembu said the police had taken over the perimeter to investigate the fire, and ensure there was no further threat to the building or people.

This is not the first time Luthuli House offices had been damaged by fire.

The secretary-general's offices on the sixth floor caught alight in August 2005, causing extensive damage to sections of that floor.

In 2008, a man was arrested for trying to set the Luthuli House reception on fire using petrol. There was little damage and no one was injured.

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