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Fire rips through Free State premier’s house, causes millions in damage

Fire rips through Free State premier’s house, causes millions in damage
Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana's official residence on fire. Firefighters and other emergency services on scene. Cause of blaze is being investigated. (Photos: Facebook)

A fire at the official residence of new Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwane is estimated to have caused millions of rands in damage, which may include expensive antique furniture and paintings.

Mangaung Metro spokesperson Qondile Khedama said the fire brigade got a call just after 9am on Thursday. “When the first team arrived, they realised they needed back-up,” he explained. More trucks and fire and rescue vehicles were then sent to the scene. About two hours later the fire had been brought under control.

The premier’s spokesperson, Sello Dithebe, said no one was injured in the fire. He confirmed the roof had collapsed. By early afternoon authorities were still on the scene. 

He confirmed to Daily Maverick that the Free State department of public works had been renovating the main house.

The premises comprise the main house and a guesthouse. Dithebe said only the main house was affected. Public works would assess the damage and issue a report. 

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

The premier, who was inaugurated in February, had not moved into the Free State House yet.   

Read more in Daily Maverick:Free State chair Dukwana gets ANC Top Seven nod for premiership after embattled Ntombela’s exit

The media were not allowed on the scene for hours after the fire was extinguished because the police forensic team was at work. 

Dukwana stepped into the shoes of outgoing premier Sisi Ntombela, who resigned last month. She failed to be elected into the ANC’s party’s provincial structure following an assessment of her performance. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • martinvdbrg says:

    A rarely lived in house – now just another burden on the Free State finances.

  • John Pearse says:

    Which is better, a theft or a fire?

  • Rory Short says:

    Fires at significant political locales seem to be par for the course in SA. What has happened to those responsible for burning down parliament? The ostensible perpetrator has been caught but what about the shadows who were behind him because he was surely not operating alone.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    Was it insured? Would the free state coffers benefit? The public works dept investigating a fire started while they were busy working there sounds a little too in- house for comfort. Lets hope nothing nefarious was going on.

  • Pet Bug says:

    The state must be expropriated of all property and objects of heritage value.
    To be sold to a private person who values these assets, protects and maintains these for future generations.

    The State has become the greatest destroyer of SA heritage resources.

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