News24

Cause of Limpopo court fire still unclear

2012-10-23 17:41

Johannesburg - A justice official has denied that fire extinguishers and a ceiling sprinkler system at the Polokwane Magistrate's Court were out of order when the court caught fire last week.

"It is not true because the person who worked there and who saw the smoke could not reach the extinguisher in time, because it quickly developed into a fire," said justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

According to a news report on Tuesday, when court employees tried to bring the flames under control on Friday, the equipment did not work.

Court employees told the newspaper the fire spread and raged out of control very quickly, and that they thought it had originated in an office.

Mhaga said the sources in the report were trying to show government in a poor light.

"As far as we know the extinguishers and systems were working."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said weekend rain had disrupted forensic investigations into the cause of the blaze.

Investigators on Monday combed the burnt-out ruins for clues, Otto said.

Only the outer walls of the building were still intact, and all computer systems, documents and sound equipment stored at the court were destroyed.

Comments
  • scouter.fourone - 2012-10-23 18:01

    Ummm - Heloo Sprinkler systems are not dependant on human intervention. They trigger themselves. They were therefore out of order .... so to speak!

      scouter.fourone - 2012-10-23 18:12

      and on second thought, when was the last 'Fire Compliance Certificate' signed off by the Fire Officer? You know, one of those silly Eurocentric regulations - something to do with Public Safety, I am told.......

      scouter.fourone - 2012-10-23 18:26

      and a third and final thought - according to earlier reports only four walls are now left standing with everything else left consumed by the fire. Very clearly spelt out - there went the 'backlog' and uncomfortable cases on hand..... If I were not such a cynic I would like to think that this was but an unfortunate accident. Perhaps I have lived in Africa for too long, though...

      scouter.fourone - 2012-10-23 18:56

      I am on a roll now, Just imagine how many Police Stations are going to be claiming missing Dockets. "Well, we dropped them off at the Court ......."! Think about it, People - just wait for the African excuse that is now breathing a sigh of collective relief in the Region ....

  • zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-10-23 18:21

    Blame the bloody agent malema he doesn't wanna have his day in court he is coming with some tendencies of sabotaging the case...

  • lizwi.makala - 2012-10-23 18:28

    How can all the important documents and computor that keeps important information be destroyed,I think those with heavy charges who were suppose to appear in court last week,should be interotagated,I personally put a blame on them.

  • Karel du Toit - 2012-10-23 18:36

    can the police officer explain to everyone what his definition of a working sprinkler system is. As a fire fighter I have NEVER seen a building be destroyed if it had a fully functional sprinkler system. Something stinks.

  • msturmair - 2012-10-23 19:22

    mmmmmm wonder whatz cooking in da fire.......there is definitely a smelly rat .......

  • Phindile Manganyi - 2012-10-24 05:49

    how convenient,very convenient...when did rain start completely messing up chances of clues,yaaa neh!!!it only happens in Limpopo

      MillionDollaGal - 2012-10-24 21:01

      I'm with u Phindile. The things that happen in this province are too shady.

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