Plumes of smoke rose into the air after a major fire broke out at South Africa’s Houses of Parliament in Cape Town today. 

Firefighters rushed to the scene as large flames tore through the building and a huge column of smoke was seen rising into the sky at around 3am.

The blaze started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices before spreading to the National Assembly chamber, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse told local media.

No one has been injured and firefighters remain at the scene. 

The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed by police.

Firefighters spray water at South Africa's parliament building in Cape Town after a major fire has broke out earlier this morning

Firefighters spray water at South Africa's parliament building in Cape Town after a major fire has broke out earlier this morning

Firefighters spray water at South Africa’s parliament building in Cape Town after a major fire has broke out earlier this morning 

Black smoke and flames were seen rising into the sky after the blaze, which started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices, tore through the building

Black smoke and flames were seen rising into the sky after the blaze, which started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices, tore through the building

Black smoke and flames were seen rising into the sky after the blaze, which started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices, tore through the building

Emergency crews at the scene at the South African Parliament building in Cape Town after a fire broke out

Emergency crews at the scene at the South African Parliament building in Cape Town after a fire broke out

Emergency crews at the scene at the South African Parliament building in Cape Town after a fire broke out

A spokesperson for the city’s emergency services said: ‘The roof has caught fire and the National Assembly building is also on fire.

‘The fire is not under control and cracks in the walls of the building have been reported.’

And former Cape Town mayor and current minister Patricia de Lille told reporters at the scene that the ‘actual National assembly is still safe’.

‘Fire Service have the situation under control,’ she added.

Today, images showed a mass of flames ripping through what appeared to be the roof of the building.

A giant crane was also used by firefighters to spray water over the burning building as they tackled the ferocious blaze. 

A cordon which stretches to St. George’s Cathedral, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s funeral took place on Saturday, is now in place in the region.

The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town consist of three sections, including the original and oldest building that was completed in 1884.

The newer additions  – constructed in the 1920s and 1980s – house the National Assembly.

Plumes of smoke rise into the air after a fire began to tear through parliament building in South Africa's Cape Town this morning

Plumes of smoke rise into the air after a fire began to tear through parliament building in South Africa's Cape Town this morning

Plumes of smoke rise into the air after a fire began to tear through parliament building in South Africa’s Cape Town this morning

Firefighters and emergency vehicles as the scene after the blaze started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices before spreading to the National Assembly chamber

Firefighters and emergency vehicles as the scene after the blaze started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices before spreading to the National Assembly chamber

Firefighters and emergency vehicles as the scene after the blaze started in the early hours of the morning in the third floor offices before spreading to the National Assembly chamber

A firefighter walks past as crews try to stop the spread of the fire which began in the early hours of today

A firefighter walks past as crews try to stop the spread of the fire which began in the early hours of today

A firefighter walks past as crews try to stop the spread of the fire which began in the early hours of today

Smoke rising into the air from the roof of the building as firefighter try to tackle the blaze which began this morning

Smoke rising into the air from the roof of the building as firefighter try to tackle the blaze which began this morning

Smoke rising into the air from the roof of the building as firefighter try to tackle the blaze which began this morning

A column of black smoke rises into the air as the blaze rips through the Houses of Parliament in South Africa

A column of black smoke rises into the air as the blaze rips through the Houses of Parliament in South Africa

A column of black smoke rises into the air as the blaze rips through the Houses of Parliament in South Africa

In April last year, a fire ravaged part of The University of Cape Town’s library housing a unique collection of African archives.

The scenes come just a day after Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died at the end of last week aged 90, was laid to rest following a touching ceremony at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

A hero of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, the state funeral for the Nobel Peace Prize winner was held at the cathedral where for years he preached against racial injustice. 

Delivering the main eulogy, President Cyril Ramaphosa lauded the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu as ‘our moral compass and national conscience’ as South Africa bade farewell at a state funeral to a hero of the struggle against apartheid. 

Mr Ramaphosa accorded Tutu a special category funeral, usually designated for presidents and very important people.

He also handed South Africa’s multicoloured flag to Tutu’s widow, Leah – a reminder of her husband’s description of the post-apartheid country as the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Source: Daily Mail

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