News24

'Chaos' during fire at Polokwane court

2012-10-19 14:42

Polokwane - A fire broke out at the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Friday, Limpopo police said.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed the fire, but could not provide further details.

"We can't comment now because a docket still has to be opened."

No injuries

Justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said no injuries were reported.

"The fire is currently under control, no injuries were reported, and extent of damage is still to be determined," he said in a statement.

"We hope that dispensing of justice will not severely be affected by this unfortunate event."

Beeld website reported that several awaiting trial prisoners were confined inside the building when the fire started.

By 11:00 the building was evacuated, while the fire was still raging.

Beeld journalist Marietie Louw-Carstens reported that the upper part of the court house had burnt down.

Louw-Carstens was covering a lawsuit in the building when it caught fire.

'Chaos'

"The next moment, people just started screaming and running. It was chaos."

Three fire trucks and six ambulances were on the scene.

Downtown Polokwane was cordoned-off due to the fire.

It was not yet clear what caused the fire, but it seemed as if it originated in the magistrate's offices, it was reported.

Several people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema 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.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Comments
  • marc.hugo.75 - 2012-10-19 14:52

    A case that was too hot to handle? A fiery defence? Prosecution bringing up witnesses from behind a smokescreen?

      johny.stront - 2012-10-19 15:23

      "We hope that dispensing of justice will not severely be affected by this unfortunate event." Above frase sais it all. This was planned.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-19 14:53

    Dispensing justice? Justice have long ago gone up in smoke.

  • phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-19 14:53

    Just hope juls pals dockets are secure in n proper safe jo jo

      keith.f.murphy - 2012-10-19 15:11

      the safe containing malemas docs exploded and blwe up in the magistraat se kantoor bliksems.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-19 15:09

    I have a bad feeling about this - watch, now records relating to the son of satan aka Julius Enema, will have been destroyed....

  • dimotj - 2012-10-19 15:11

    and juju is walking out free i tell you

  • lorna.sisusa - 2012-10-19 15:18

    (Court went down to ashes) Isn't this the same Court where Julius Malema is gonna appear?? God bless our country.. Dockets will disappear, and Juju is gonna be free.. \r\n#Only in Africa

  • sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-10-19 15:19

    Passed by there @ 1, I thought Malema was in court. The commotion yerr.

  • phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-19 15:22

    He was in Zimbabie bobie het hom getip burn the courts and you walk free my man check mate

  • basimogashoa - 2012-10-19 15:22

    Wow, what a haphazardly-organised article.

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-10-19 16:09

      I agree. Nothing of any substance.

      Justin Mettew - 2012-10-19 16:40

      Typical of the media.

  • michael.mathenjwa.1 - 2012-10-19 15:34

    that means now malema is off the hook? no no no

  • flynn.govender - 2012-10-19 15:40

    People think off different ways to lose dockets/case files - there was either a high profile case there this morning or a high profile case that was going to take place after the fire did the damage. Lost docket/case file means the case is thrown out of court - lucky for those criminals

  • langakumalo - 2012-10-19 15:41

    What is the author reasons for including last paragraph in this story? Now I understand what they mean by "trial by the media"

  • mphotokornel - 2012-10-19 15:54

    SA MEDIA AND NARROW MINDED HYPOCRITES!!HAVE U EVA HEARD OF BACKUP FILES?nd Malema knws this very well... important state files r backup sumwhr

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-19 16:01

      That remains to be seen. I've never heard of a 'back-up' docket. There's only one case docket. I've never heard of 'back-up' evidence. Let's see what transpires. In my opinion what we hear next is predictable.

  • Notrax123 - 2012-10-19 16:12

    "Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema 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." 1+1=2

  • johan.d.villiers.5 - 2012-10-19 16:35

    Julle gee vir Julius te veel krediet.. Hy en sy makkers is ver te onnosel om so iets te organiseer.Die 12 suspects accused of being involved in a rhino poaching syndicate wat vrydag in die hof moes verskyn, hulle is die manne wat dop gehou moet word

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-10-19 19:56

      Ek stem nie saam met jou nie. JM is miskien dom, maar hy het maatjies in die regte plekke wat so 'n vuurtjie maklik kan "veroorsaak". Ek vermoed brandstigting, maar wat 'n ondersoek sal uitwys is nog maar te sien.

      hendrik.schutte.3152 - 2012-10-19 20:11

      Uhm Rhino poachers and likely quite a few other important cases to come. The possibilities are numerous. I do not think this was anything other than arson, question is just WHO? Many will benefit, but some more than others.

  • Justin Mettew - 2012-10-19 16:42

    How typical of the media, and the crowd follows (ashamed by 'some' South Africans).

  • sean.kedian - 2012-10-19 20:12

    And suddenly Malemas problems disappear

  • Peter - 2012-10-20 07:38

    Is small boy Julius trying to slow down the wheels of justice? Said Julius: 'guys- 'while I slip off to ZIm for more scallywag behaviour, you take care of business here and make sure my docket berns, shap'.

  • witwolf.digter - 2012-10-20 07:56

    "Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema 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." Coincidence?????????

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-10-20 09:30

    wander where julius was at the time the fire started

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