JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The South African ruling party African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday condemned the arson attack on its headquarters in Johannesburg.
"Such actions should not happen in a democratic nation, it is a criminal act," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said. "We have avenues to address issues," he added.
On Tuesday night a fire broke out in the reception area at the ANC headquarters, and the ballooning flames were extinguished by security guards before it reached the ceiling, causing no casualties except a couch being burnt down. Police sealed off the scene, and found a broken bottle.
"The bottle was strategically placed under the couch in the reception area of the headquarters," Mthembu said.
Being convinced that the fire was a malicious act, he said the bottle was filled with chemicals and its explosion made the couch catch fire. "The chemicals that filled the bottle left fumes that were still lingering in the building," he added.
Police, the bomb unit and other experts all confirmed the attack was an attempt of arson. Police said an investigation into the arson case was underway.
The ANC is the ruling party in the country, supported by the tripartite alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of the South African Trade Unions.
The quinquennial general election since the end of the apartheid era in 1994 will be held on a date from April to July 2014 to elect the new National Assembly, which will elect new president of South Africa. The government is currently preparing the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the democratic nation establishment.
On Aug. 26, the ANC said it was confident to win the next year's general elections.