Probe into Polokwane court blaze complete

2012-10-24 20:33
(Picture: supplied)

(Picture: supplied)

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Polokwane - Forensic investigators have completed their probe into a fire at the Polokwane Magistrate's Court, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.

"The investigators will take whatever they collected from the scenes to Pretoria forensic laboratory to determine what caused the fire," spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said.

"So far, we cannot specify how long it will take."

The court was damaged by a fire on Friday morning. Several court cases had to be adjourned as the building was evacuated. The fire destroyed computers and court documents.

The justice department has said that R95 000 in cash, from bail and traffic fines, was retrieved from the court safe.

Department regional head Kholeka Sondi said cases and documents relating to maintenance were not destroyed.

"Some of the dockets were not destroyed because they were on the basement of the court; the dockets that have been affected were dockets that were before court on that day, but all the others were safe," Sondi said.

"The district court is not affected at all; it’s only the civil section."

The department would bring in mobile units to house some of the court's staff. Some of the cases would be sent to the Mankweng, Seshego, and Matlala Magistrate's Courts. Other work would be moved to the Polokwane High Court.

Speaking after a visit to the court on Wednesday, Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister Andries Nel said a team had been set up to help the department reconstruct cases where documents were destroyed.

His department had already met lawyers in the area to solicit information on civil cases.

"We have gone all-out to make sure that service delivery is not affected. We are trying to limit the impact on service delivery, with the emphasis on those who are vulnerable in our society," Nel said.

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