Police remove the barbed wire erected after Parliament fire

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Police remove the barbed wire erected after Parliament fire
Police remove the barbed wire erected after Parliament fire

Africa-Press – South-Africa. Barbed wire erected around Government Avenue in Cape Town, after a fire at Parliament earlier this year, has finally been removed by police.

By late Thursday afternoon, police began removing the barbed wire blocking the entrance to the Company’s Garden, and which prevented any movement behind Parliament.

The barbed wire was erected after a fire broke out at the National Assembly building in January. After the fire, police were on high alert.

The suspected arsonist, Zandile Mafe, was arrested inside the precinct.

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He faces charges of arson, housebreaking with intent to commit arson, contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Other Related Activities Act, alternately terrorism, alternately discharge or detonation of an explosive or lethal device, and theft.

Mafe’s case is expected to be heard again on 4 October.

Parliament referred queries to the police.

Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said SAPS does not comment on security-related matters pertaining to national key points.

The City of Cape Town has, for months, requested that the barbed wire be removed.

The City argued that it was an “unlawful obstruction for the public wanting to access the Company’s Garden”.

The mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, said he was pleased that police had removed the barbed wire and restored public access.

“We have been engaged in good faith discussions with police over the last couple of months now, regarding removing it after it was unlawfully closed earlier this year.

“We have agreed with police that they would remove it. We can start cleaning up Government Avenue after many months of closure and make sure that it is ready for public use as soon as possible,” he said.

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