Signs of foul play in fire at Musina municipality building

2017-07-03 14:19
Office of Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle has burnt. (Supplied, file)

Office of Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle has burnt. (Supplied, file)

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Polokwane - Several suspicious elements of human involvement have been uncovered in a blaze that broke out at the Musina local municipality building at the weekend.

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

Passers-by first noticed the building was on fire on Saturday night and called authorities, said Limpopo police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.

Fire-fighters rushed to the scene and extinguished the flames.

It was not clear what the cost of the damage was. No injuries were reported.

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

READ: Blaze guts garage at Eastern Cape premier's office

Documents lost

Forensics experts were compiling a report.

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

"The fire broke out in the office of the manager for housing. Some documents and furniture were destroyed," he said.

Application forms for housing were safely removed from the scene.

Fires also broke out at two 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.

Staff had been in the process of scanning them.

Everyone exited the building safely.

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.

"The west wing of the building was affected. It damaged most of the seventh floor and a little bit of the eighth floor. The floors below that were all affected by water damage."

It was still not known whether the fire was due to foul play.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said they were waiting for a report from a forensics specialist on the cause of the fire.

Staff would be accommodated in other government buildings while maintenance was conducted.

"The department of infrastructure development will be conducting regular inspections to ensure there are no risks of fire," said Masebe.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  fires

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