Arson had been committed at the department of health’s Civitas Building in Pretoria in order "to exploit and exacerbate the legitimate grievances of employees", two ministers said on Friday at a media briefing. Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi and public works minister Thulas Nxesi briefed the media on this week’s attempt to burn down the building. A fire broke out on the 14th floor on Thursday afternoon while there were people in the building, but the fire alarms went off and staff were able to extinguish the blaze. The ministers said in a statement that this was the second arson attempt this week. The first was on Tuesday, in the basement of the building. "Civitas is a state-of-the-art building, which has been poorly maintained, and public works must take responsibility for that," the ministers said. "Poor maintenance, in part, resulted in malfunctioning of the airconditioning, in particular. As a result, employees — quite legitimately — protested against their working conditions....

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