Deputy minister to visit damaged Polokwane court

Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel will visit the badly burnt Polokwane Magistrate’s Court today.

The Polokwane Magistrate’s Court was on fire on 19 October 2012. Picture: Supplied

POLOKWANE - Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel will visit the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, to inspect the damage caused by a fire which ripped through the building last week Friday.

Court dockets and equipment were destroyed in the blaze which took firefighters more than three hours to extinguish.

On Tuesday, police tape cordoned off the entrance to the court, and the smell of smoke was still overpowering.

Most windows had been blown out and thick black soot covered what was left of the walls.

Polokwane residents described to Eyewitness News how they feared for their lives during the blaze at the city's magistrate's court.

One man said he was terrified when biggest fire he had ever seen broke out just metres from where he was standing.

He said all he saw was "smoke and big flames".

Unisa student advisor Jerry Malemela, whose office is directly opposite the court, said the blaze spread rapidly and glass exploded in every direction.

Another local said many viewed the incident as a bad omen for the troubled Limpopo province.

He questioned whether the fire was a sign that the "law [was] burning".