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ANC suspect arson behind fire at its Mpumalanga offices

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
File photo.
File photo.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba

An arsonist is believed to have been behind the blaze that engulfed the ANC provincial headquarters in Mpumalanga on Thursday morning.  

According to the ANC, the fire broke out at about 9am and firefighters had to rush to the building popularly known as “January Che Masilela House”  to put out the blaze. 

It's unclear how the fire started, however, ANC spokesperson in Mpumalanga Sasekani Manzini said they suspect arson and that they have “a person of interest”. 

“Yes we have noted that our offices have caught fire this morning. Firefighters and other law enforcement agencies are already on the scene and the fire is being put out.

“For now we cannot confirm which documents have been burnt, however, the information we have shows that there's a person of interest and we believe that particular person who is a member of MKMVA [Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association] will share some light on how the fire started as he was on the scene prior to the fire according to witnesses who work at the office. We await the police investigation on this to really confirm it,” said Manzini. 

The offices accommodate other party structures which include the ANC Women's League and ANC Youth League. 

There have been reported clashes between ANC members in Mpumalanga dating back to 2017 when former premier David Mabuza was elected to be an NEC member of the ruling party and also became the deputy president of the country. Since then there have been camps and factions who fought over the party's leadership positions in Mpumalanga. This escalated to violence which would occur at party meetings. 

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said as the fire is being put out they have started their investigation.

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