Probe into Polokwane court fire

2012-10-22 11:38
Flames rise from the Polokwane Magistrate's Court. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld)

Flames rise from the Polokwane Magistrate's Court. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Police have begun an investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed part of the Polokwane Magistrate's Court last week, the department of justice said on Monday.

"The extent of damage caused by the fire is still yet to be determined," said department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

"The forensic investigation team from the police has commenced their investigation into the cause of the fire."

Part of the court was destroyed when the building caught fire on Friday.
Mhaga said the department would ensure that service was not affected by the fire.

"Arrangements have been made to move some matters to the Polokwane High Court, ensuring the continued delivery and access to justice services," he said.

"The regional court president is also investigating the possibility of moving some regional court matters to Seshego and Mankweng magistrate's courts."

No effect on Malema case

Other cases could be heard in circuit courts around Limpopo.

"The department is working closely with the department of public works to identify a suitable building for administrative staff to continue rendering services," he said.

Members of the public were urged to contact the regional office of the department of justice on 015 287 2000, regarding any matters that were pending before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court.

On Saturday, Mhaga said the fire would not affect the money-laundering case against expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

"None of the police statements relating to that case were anywhere near that court," he said.

"We are yet to complete an assessment of the damage in so far as court documents are concerned but people should not panic."

The former ANCYL president appeared at the court on September 26 on a charge of money-laundering.

He was released on bail and expected to return on November 30.

Mhaga said case files could easily be reconstructed in the event that they were destroyed in the fire.

- SAPA

Read more on:    julius malema  |  polokwane  |  fires
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