Municipal office fire destroys documents

2012-02-02 09:00

Durban - Crucial documents needed for an ongoing forensic investigation were completely destroyed when the Umkhanyakude District Municipality offices burnt down on Thursday morning.

“I can confirm that our finance offices were completely destroyed by fire early today. We lost all the documents,” said Mayor Jeff Vilane. The municipal offices are in Mkuze in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Vilane said the incident happened at the time when a municipal manager and a chief financial officer were on suspension to allow a forensic investigation to take place.

“We don’t want to pre-empt what caused the fire. It could be an electric fault,” he said.

Vilane was however worried that crucial documents needed for investigation were destroyed.

“Though the information is also stored in computers you also need hard copy invoices that have been signed when you conduct the investigation,” he said.

The investigation was being conducted by a forensic team appointed by the provincial department of co-operative governance to probe allegations of maladminstration and fraud.

The fire started around 02:00. Vilane was fuming that it took too long for firefighters to respond.

“We are very unhappy that it took too long for them to respond. Rural metro offices are not far from our municipal building.”

  • Sharmay - 2012-02-02 09:03


      Justin - 2012-02-02 09:21

      How convenient!!!!!

      Wimpie.Haefele - 2012-02-02 09:42


      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-02 10:06

      “We don’t want to pre-empt what caused the fire. It could be an electric fault, he said." Said with such conviction, Ya think??

      procold2 - 2012-02-02 10:10

      do these people think we are stupid,where are all the back up disc,s or did they only have filed paper copies

      Myvision - 2012-02-02 11:28

      The ancestors

  • Ziggie - 2012-02-02 09:03

    How convenient....... al docs needed turned into ashes!!!!

      Alan - 2012-02-02 10:52

      Yeah - It was an unfortunate turn of events. The Municipality staff were all working late into the night to improve on service delivery. Amos wanted to mow the overgrown grass around the offices, and he went into the municipal offices to get petrol. As the clerk inthe accounts office was writing up the petrol usage, a little bit spilled out of the can. Just then the power went off for scheduled Eskom midnight maintenance, and poor Sophie was caught at her desk in the dark. She lit a match to find her way to the exit, and a spark flew off and landed on the spilled petrol. That, My Lord is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of what happened......

  • Anthony - 2012-02-02 09:04

    how convenient!

      Alan - 2012-02-02 10:52

      Robert McBride?

  • Kruger - 2012-02-02 09:05

    LOL mmmmm eish i smell a RAT !!!!

      David - 2012-02-02 10:25

      Yes there is a rat. Pity it was not in the kitchen to chase all those oversized Government Officials back to work.

  • muriel.farquharson - 2012-02-02 09:06

    If you are afraid, burn the evidence.

      Peter - 2012-02-02 09:21

      and for ANY OTHER REASON...burn it still!

      Sharon - 2012-02-02 09:40

      Isn't that the ideal solution? I suspect many more of these convenient fires are going to break out all over the country.

  • Davis Mathevula - 2012-02-02 09:07

    This is funny...i believe the top management team knows exactly what caused the fire...

  • Anton - 2012-02-02 09:09

    LOL, definitely NOT a coincidence

  • EyesEars - 2012-02-02 09:12

    How convenient! However, the wheel has a way of turning!

  • Mike - 2012-02-02 09:12

    How convenient is that - something to cover up? Is there still a fire truck working... I am surprised...!

  • Gary - 2012-02-02 09:17

    so no document management system as required by law to keep electronic copies of all documents ? Wow. Another prime example of a banana republic writing laws that they themselves cant understand or keep.

  • Sechaba - 2012-02-02 09:18

    fire fighters were also bribed to be a lil bit late

  • Grimmister - 2012-02-02 09:18

    It could be an electrical fault...but then could be...something else..

  • Angelo - 2012-02-02 09:19

    "Vilane was however [HOPING] that crucial documents needed for investigation were destroyed." There you go news24, the truth in a nutshell!

  • Don - 2012-02-02 09:21

    Electrical fault ... LOL, some bright spark !

      Alan - 2012-02-02 10:57


  • Paul - 2012-02-02 09:25

    Very convenient

  • neal.badenhorst - 2012-02-02 09:29

    Really? An electric fault? Really?

  • mashavha - 2012-02-02 09:30

    you think we are fools?

  • Cathy - 2012-02-02 09:30

    Oh yes and the fire was definitely an accident! Bunch of criminals who were afraid of being caught out decided to play with fire! Wonder how long it will take for this investigation to prove criminal intent.

  • anthro45 - 2012-02-02 09:33

    That's what you call corrupting corruption.

  • Sharon - 2012-02-02 09:50

    Now who do u think did that .......LOL it is so typical of the ANC run municipality, corruption and theft they destroy all evidence

  • derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-02-02 09:56

    What a load of BS. We are a real BANANA REPUBLIC....Go to jail....get sick...get out....Dont like your wife/husband....get a the sh*t....dont worry just burn the evidence.....

  • Helmut - 2012-02-02 09:59

    In the name of the ANC burn it shredd it its all ok

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 10:38

      I seriously doubt if the ANC is in power there but who am I know.

      Zulumfana - 2012-02-02 10:58

      The suspended were the IFP cadres employed before the ANC took over the municipality last year election. Its better to be objective when commenting on issues sometimes cause you always keep the back door open in case you have to run.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 11:01

      Thank you Mfana, it is always good to comment if you have facts.

  • Angus - 2012-02-02 10:00

    And if there were no digital records taken off-site then that is a punishable offence according to corporate governance. Actually it is a jailable offence. As one of the other commentators said here, watch out for "sporadic fires" breaking out at government institutions all over the country soon. Scumbags....

      Craig - 2012-02-02 10:39

      I am sure to be sure that a "Clerk" will be fire'd 'cos of this, The big wigs will still keep their post and it is "Buisness as usual" till someone has too make another fire...

      Sharon - 2012-02-02 11:01

      hahahahaha @ Craig - the clerk will be fired - tooo funny. Was the pun intended?

  • Jason - 2012-02-02 10:01

    "it could be an electric fault"...yeah that or just a freak spontanious combustion. Electrical faults can easily happen when rooms filled with documents are doused with petrol and then set alight, you find that some of the fumes make the plugpoints hazardous...

      Alan - 2012-02-02 10:42

      haha :)

  • Nomakhwezi Ngoma - 2012-02-02 10:04

    no matter which angle you view it from, this looks suspicious period

  • Garth - 2012-02-02 10:06

    Completely out of context, but I wonder who the puerile, dog-breath is `thumb downing' all these comments? The phallus caput is probably using his boss' computer and thinks that he is a bad-ass by thumbs downing all the comments. Thumbs down if your breath smells of sperma canis familiaris.

  • Deeteem - 2012-02-02 10:06

    It does not take a brain surgeon to work out who set the fire !!!!!

  • Lee - 2012-02-02 10:09

    Quite obviously delibirate. This isn't the first time this has happened. They should have siezed all the documents at the beginning.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 11:07

      I laughed enopugh last please do not start with your injenje

  • Perfume5 - 2012-02-02 10:12

    One would think they would do backups in case of such happening...smells like arson to me.

  • david.roets - 2012-02-02 10:22


  • werner.smidt - 2012-02-02 10:23

    "Vilane was fuming that it took too long for firefighters to respond." --- HAHAHAHA! But really . . these guys don't need a Protection of Information Bill . .

  • Nkulekweni - 2012-02-02 10:25

    An electric fault foot!

  • Zulumfana - 2012-02-02 10:27

    Is this the same Municipality that was ruled by IFP since 1994 to 2011 and was suspected of corruption in 2010?

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 10:39

      Ask Helmut above, he says ANC, maybe he is correct but ignorant as he is, I doubt.

  • Monica - 2012-02-02 10:29

    stop wasting our time the is no law in south africa i just want to relocate i want to go to china

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 10:40

      You need a profesion, money and skill to survive in most countries. I am afraid you have nowhere to go my dear, hlala khaya.

      David - 2012-02-02 10:40

      Just dont take drugs with you.

      Alan - 2012-02-02 10:43

      Dont worry Monica - China is coming to Africa....

  • aardvarkie - 2012-02-02 10:31

    Oh, how convenient.

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-02 10:35

    Why do I get the impression that the Mayor is a very relieved man today...

      Ziggie - 2012-02-02 11:02

      Yep, Monday they are all back in office.....

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 11:23

      @Ziggie, are you sure?

  • dave.j.colquhoun - 2012-02-02 10:42

    A convenient fire at a convenient time how's that for convenience. Ha! Ha! Ha!!!

  • Ann - 2012-02-02 10:45

    So convenient!!! How stupid do they think the public is and it is these communities that will continue to vote in these lying, thieving individuals. The majority of officials will steal from their own families to make sure that the are the "HAVE's" and the "Have-Not's" will continue to suffer. This is a sick situation.

  • Jason - 2012-02-02 10:47

    No evidence = No Crime, corrupt sons of pitches!!

  • miyo27 - 2012-02-02 10:49

    This is more convenient than Selebi's sudden sickness...don't you just love our government? if something's not working out then something somehow will happen and the problems will eventually go away. Now if only the same could happen with the ANC

  • mike.clery - 2012-02-02 11:02

    Corrupt politicians making sure the peasants remain peasants. This from Wiki: It is described as one of the two most deprived districts in South Africa according to the District Health Barometer. “Deprivation” is defined as a combination of indictors including unemployment rates, access to piped water and electricity, female-headed households with high numbers of children and low education levels..

  • bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-02-02 11:03

    As far as I know files that have critical information are stored in the fire proof safe and due to nature of the work the finance department do, files are not left on top of the tables (Confidentiality of information).

  • Jason - 2012-02-02 11:22

    Where there is smoke, there is fire..... The ANC does it again...Corruption is king....

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-02 11:51

      I blame Chantel Bruwer

  • Lordwick - 2012-02-02 11:24

    I so wish that majority was aware of what's happening.I am sure they were not gonna vote for ANC once more!!! They are now destroying evidence??? It's unfortunate that even if you someone can just go in a surroundings of the event and ask as to what could have motivated that,they will simlpy be clueless.Worstly the majority of my black nation is ignorant and use their hearts instead of minds when casting their votes!!! There's still more to come,this is just the beggining!!!

  • amanda.terblans - 2012-02-02 18:58

    legally every company is supposed to have duplicate documents/discs in a water and fireproof room/ safe .... so where are they ?? this is bullsh*t yet again

  • amanda.terblans - 2012-02-02 18:59

    when they find out who did it they will name a street after him.

  • Christopher - 2012-02-06 16:17

    Does every body else smell the rat. Do these municipal officials think we're stupid? I trust the DA smokes them all out.

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