Musina fire may have been attempt to destroy low-cost housing lists

2017-07-03 18:20
Fire damage at the Musina Local Municipality building. (Supplied)

Fire damage at the Musina Local Municipality building. (Supplied)

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Polokwane - Some Limpopo residents believe that a fire at the Musina Local Municipality building may have been an attempt to destroy low-cost housing lists and application forms, a provincial Democratic Alliance (DA) official said on Monday.

The blaze broke out in the housing office on Saturday night, with firefighters rushing to extinguish the flames.

News24 reliably learnt on Monday that officials at the scene found a broken window and flammable liquid, potentially paraffin or petrol.

DA human settlements spokesperson Jacques Smalle said residents were claiming that the housing lists were manipulated to include those who were not eligible for low-cost housing.

He had written to provincial Human Settlements MEC Makoma Makhurupetje to ask that a forensic probe be immediately launched into the circumstances that led to the fire.

The party wanted the MEC to ensure that the lists for 600 houses, which are due to be handed out, were transparent and awarded to legitimate beneficiaries.

"In a municipality where legitimate applicants, the majority of them poor, have waited for years to get houses. The latest development is a cause for concern as it extends the delay."

Limpopo police said no one was injured in the fire. It was not clear what the cost of the damage was.

"There are elements of some human act. We call upon members of the community with information to contact us," said Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.

Forensics experts were compiling a report.

Foul play 

Musina municipality spokesperson Wilson Dzebu confirmed there was a likelihood of foul play.

Some documents and furniture were destroyed.

He said application forms for housing were safely removed from the scene.

Fires also broke out at two other premiers' offices last week.

On Friday afternoon June 30, flames gutted an unused garage at the office of the Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle in Bhisho.

Documents linked to a wide-ranging investigation into procurement in the province, dating back to 2010, were lost, provincial government spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said at the time.

On Friday morning, the finance offices of the Gauteng premier's department were destroyed in a blaze, apparently due to an electrical fault.

Almost 300 staff members were evacuated from the offices and no injuries were reported.

Computers were destroyed but important documentation was backed up on another system, said provincial government spokesperson Thabo Masebe on Monday.

Read more on:    polokwane

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