Rebuilding of court to cost millions
The Polokwane Magistrate's Court handles at least 600 criminal and 3,000 civil matters per year
IT WILL take at least four years to rebuild the fire-gutted Polokwane Magistrate's Court building.
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Andries Nel, who yesterday visited the site, said it would take millions of rands and at least four years to rebuild the structure.
The building was completely destroyed by a mysterious fire last Friday. The roof also caved in but no injuries were reported.
Nel said most of the dockets were safe but added that some criminal dockets had been destroyed.
"The fire has affected the delivery of services in the regional courts but district courts have not been affected," he said.
Nel said the process of recovering archive material had started as well as reconstructing some records.
As an interim measure while the building is under reconstruction, members of the judiciary would be issued with laptops and 3G cards so they could execute their duties.
The deputy minister said maintenance cases were not affected as the office where the dockets were kept was untouched.
Nel also said R95,500 in maintenance money, admission of guilt fines, witness fees and bail money inside a safe, had been retrieved.
He said forensic investigators were still working on the site to determine the cause of the fire.
The Polokwane Magistrate's Court handled at least 600 criminal and 3,000 civil matters per year, Nel said.
The court has handled 62 criminal cases, 199 traffic cases and a full trial in the district court since Monday, he added.