Bomb squad called in to parliamentary precinct after suspicious package found

Parliament has confirmed the precinct of Parliament in Cape Town had to be cordoned off on Wednesday morning, after the South African Police Service (Saps) noticed a suspicious package that was left unattended.

Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Saps immediately deployed their bomb disposal specialists as part of normal safety protocols.

Mothapo confirmed there was no immediate threat identified to the vicinity. He also said there was no evacuation conducted.

“Earlier this morning the South African Police Service noticed a suspicious package left unattended at the Parliamentary precincts, and immediately engaged normal safety protocols by its bomb disposal specialists, including cordoning off the immediate vicinity,” he said in a brief statement.

It was unclear what was contained in the suspicious package.

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Mothapo said police remained at the precinct of Parliament and were undertaking the necessary precautionary measures.

 “While the police remain at the precincts and are undertaking necessary precautionary measures, Parliament confirms there is no immediate danger posed to the parliamentary community.

“Parliament apologises for any inconvenience this may have caused to the MPs, staff and guests.”

Parliament fire

Earlier this year, a fire gutted the buildings of Parliament on 2 January damaging the Old Assembly Chamber and building, the National Assembly Chamber and other critical offices of the national legislature.

Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Christmas Mafe was arrested for allegedly being behind the fire.

Mafe faces charges of housebreaking with intent to commit terrorism and arson, arson, terrorism and theft. He has denied the charges against him and claims he being made an scapegoat for the fire incident.

Mafe has been remanded in custody since his arrest after his several attempts for bail failed.

He is expected to return to the Western Cape High Court for pre-trial proceedings on 2 September 2022.

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