A man has been arrested after a large fire severely damaged the Houses of Parliament in the South African city of Cape Town.
A police spokesperson said the man was facing charges of arson, housebreaking and theft, and would appear in court on Tuesday.
Firefighters have been working for hours to extinguish the blaze.
President Cyril Ramaphosa called it a “terrible and devastating event”, as he vowed parliament’s work would continue.
Officials said the fire started on the third floor offices and quickly spread to the National Assembly chambers.
The parliament is not currently in session because of the holidays, and no injuries were reported.
Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo said the suspect is also expected to be charged under the National Key Points Act, which protects sites of strategic importance.
In a statement on Sunday night, South Africa’s parliament confirmed that there had been “significant damage” to the New Assembly Wing of the building, which includes the National Assembly chamber where lawmakers sit. It also said some offices had been “severely gutted”.
Mr Ramaphosa, who visited the scene, said news of the fire was a “terrible setback to what we were basking in yesterday”.
He said the building’s sprinkler system had not functioned properly, and praised firefighters for responding to the fire in minutes.
Jean-Pierre Smith, a member of the Cape Town mayoral committee for safety and security, told reporters that the roof above the old assembly hall was “completely gone” and further damage inside the old chamber had not yet been evaluated.
“It is not possible to see whether it’s damaged. We hope it is not because it has so many historical artefacts, but you can’t gain access to it without breaking the doors down and we don’t want to do that,” he said.
He also said that parliament’s fire alarm only rang when firefighters were already on site.
Cape Town’s Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said the city’s Council Chamber would be made available as an alternative place for parliament to meet.
“We want to see parliament continue its important work, and we will do what we can to help,” he said.
It was the second fire at the parliament in under a year. In March there was a fire caused by an electrical fault.