The year might have started with champagne and fireworks for most South Africans, but it began on a low note for the country's parliament.
The historical building burned down on 2 January and the fire flared up again the next day. Since then, distraught South Africans have taken to social media to offer advice, theories and some have called for parliament to be relocated.
One South African has offered more than that – he's offered cold, hard cash for the arrest and conviction of the culprit.
This is despite the fact that a man has been arrested and appeared in court on 4 January, and the matter was postponed for seven days for more investigation.
The businessman, Malcom X, is known for always giving a helping hand to the needy. If he is not giving away expensive sneakers, and settling people’s student loans, he is giving people hard cash because he believes that the lack of money is the root of evil and when people don't have money, they can do questionable things.
After the burning down of the Cape Town Parliament, he heard the speaker of parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula speak about the fire and that they are still waiting on the police report to know more information about the damages done by the fire.
Malcolm X tells DRUM that he doesn’t know what is happening, who is involved, if the incident is political or not or whether democracy is being attacked by people who are against the government and state.
Malcolm says when he heard the speaker of parliament speak on Monday urging South Africans to come together to find the solution to this by helping the government to trace perpetrators or perpetrators, he heeded the call.
He says he wants to help out because he is what he is because of this current government.
“I regard this as an act of hydrant; I felt that let me help the government that put me be where I am today. Let me help the government by making this contribution to try tracing perpetrators of this horrendous act. I am not saying money is everything, solves everything, or can trace everything but it might help because whoever did this has family, friends, and partners who might have information. By offering this I hope someone will come up and give information that will help.”
Malcolm says the R1 million reward is for the arrest and conviction as people do get arrested every day but end up being free due to lack of evidence.
“I offered this high amount because it might motivate someone with information to come out. The burning of parliament might affect our economy and a lot is going to be affected by this. And if this is an act of someone who wants the parliament to move to Pretoria that is not how one should do things,” he says.
He says a person with information should give him a call and should be willing to work together with the police to ensure that they are putting the right person in jail, and should be able to give accurate information.
“Since the message went out I have received about a hundred calls of people claiming they know who started the fire but they don’t want to work with the police. Some are chancers who just want the money but I am hopeful that people will come forward with helpful info. I heard there was an arrest already but we all know that there is a mastermind who is behind all of and they should face the music,” he says.
The money comes from his pocket. He says there is no political party that gave him this money, he is just a concerned taxpayer who knows how bad things are already since the pandemic started and this arson might take the economy backward.
“We will be setting a wrong precedent if we let someone we know get away with this. As much as I received calls of people trying their luck, I have also got threats because of this reward. I am used to threats, right now we need to focus on finding the perpetrators.”