Four police officers suspended for failing to monitor CCTV footage at parliament

Johannesburg – Four South African Police Service (SAPS) officers have been suspended in the wake of the Parliament fire.

According to SAPS, these officers were responsible for monitoring the CCTV footage at the national key point.

SAPS further confirmed that the CCTV video wall was not working after a December power failure.

Police were monitoring CCTV footage on smaller screens on the night of the fire.

“The power outage, caused by Eskom, on December 21, 2021, resulted in the malfunctioning of the video wall for the entire duration prior to the Parliament fire incident. It is reported that, apparently, the generators ran out of diesel,” the police said.

The police have further confirmed to Members (MPs) of Parliament in a meeting on Friday that, Parliament has failed to upgrade its security for more than nine years, despite a report warning of this in 2013.

The police also revealed that the Parliament’s Protection Services were on compulsory leave from December 15, when the fire broke out on January 2.

Consecutively, the head of security and protection services in the police, Lieutenant-general Sam Shitlabane argued that the police were not responsible for everything, like the perimeter fence.

He said the perimeter fence of Parliament was 1.3 metres instead of 3m, which is the prescribed minimum standard.

“The current height of the perimeter fence at the back, which is government lane, stands at 1.3 metres and in terms of the Act it should be at three metres high.”

Shitlabane revealed that security and protection at the national legislature have been neglected since 2018.

“Since the declaration of Parliament precinct complex as a national key point on January 12, 2018, the following has not been implemented: a joint planning committee, which is a coordinating structure established by the national key point owner, in consultation with the protecting authority, and this still needs to be established by Parliament,” said Shitlabane.

Shibatla also affirmed that disciplinary proceedings had been instituted against the four police members who were on duty that day.

In the interim, the accused, Zandile Mafe is still in confinement.

Mafe was arrested after the fire broke out and he was recently released from Valkenberg mental hospital and sent to a normal prison, as directed by the Western Cape High Court.

Also read: Parly fire: affected buildings handed over to Hawks for investigation

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Suspect arrested in connection to parliament fire

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