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I am deeply saddened by the scenes all of us are witnessing today as flames engulf the home of our democracy in the precinct of Parliament.

This is a disastrous event that should sadden all of us.

This is devastating, coming as it does a day after our send-off for Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Waking up to the destruction of Parliament is a terrible setback from what we were basking in yesterday.

The Archbishop would have been devastated as well, as this is a place he prayed for, supported and wanted to see as a repository of our democracy.

Notwithstanding the damage that has been done to this precinct, the work of Parliament will carry on.

My thoughts are with the Speaker of Parliament, the Chairperson of the National Assembly, the Acting Secretary to Parliament, the management and staff of Parliament; as well as Members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, and their support staff.

I am being briefed by the Speaker of Parliament, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Minister of Police and the Deputy Minister in the Presidency with responsibility for State Security.