A development has been made concerning the parliament fire investigation after four on-duty cops are facing suspension.
Three CCTV monitoring room operators and a service relief commander are set to plead their cases after they became elements in the investigation toward the police related to the devastating fire that occurred on January 2. This portion of the investigation was announced by Lieutenant General Sam Shitlabane, head of the Protection and Security Services who briefed the Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament today, January 28.
The potential suspension relates to the monitoring of the CCTV cameras on the night and morning of the fire.
According to eNCA, no parliamentary officers were on duty, as a result of ‘compulsory leave’ and due to COVID-19 protocols to minimise infection spread. Another reason given was related to ‘budget cuts’ as stated by the acting secretary of Parliament.
The SAPS defence of their on-duty cops surrounded camera monitoring, or a lack thereof. According to some claims, reasons that the cameras were not monitored effectively related to a power outage that impacted a large part of the city centre including Parliament, as well as the ‘giant video wall’ responsible for displaying all the footage not working. These issues were addressed by Shitlabane, as per News24.
However, the case gets murkier when it was expressed that although the ‘giant wall’ was down, areas were still able to be monitored, except on smaller screens. The giant wall effectively makes for easier viewing supposedly.
Additionally, it was expressed that Parliament’s fire alarm did not go off at the City’s fire department either. The water valves responsible for supplying water to the sprinklers also did not work as they were closed according to Shitlabane.
The cops have not been suspended as of yet, and will still present their cases.
Picture: Moloto Mothapo