South Africa 5.9.2013 06:00 am

Home-made bomb found in ANC HQ

FILE PICTURE: Luthuli House. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba.

FILE PICTURE: Luthuli House. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba.

Police are investigating the possibility that the recent fire at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg was an arson attack.

A suspicious fire broke out in the reception area of Luthuli House after a home-made bomb was allegedly carefully concealed under a couch in the foyer on Tuesday night.

Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said yesterday that police were investigating all possibilities. “No arrests have been made and investigations are still continuing,” he said. The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) expressed shock and outrage that a fire-bomb had been planted at Luthuli House.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said: “We congratulate the security staff whose swift action in quenching the flames prevented what could have been a huge disaster.”

The labour federation demanded that the SA Police Service do everything possible to find, arrest and prosecute whoever was responsible. “This criminal act should be treated as attempted murder, since had the fire spread throughout the building many lives could have been lost,” Craven said.

“This is not just an attack on the ANC, but on our constitutional democracy, an attempt to terrorise and intimidate a political movement. “Cosatu sends a message of solidarity and support to the leaders, staff and members of the ANC, and is confident that this terror attack will not deflect them from the struggle to build a democratic, non-racist and non-sexist South Africa.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemned the incident, saying that such incidents undermined the spirit of democracy and the freedom of political parties to campaign without fear of intimidation.

DA national spokesman Mmusi Maimane said the party hoped the perpetrators would be caught and prosecuted in terms of the law. “In a country where constitutional freedoms have been achieved through great sacrifice, we cannot allow such actions to take us back to a place of fear or intolerance,” he said.

 

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