Magistrates Court reopened after fire

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pretoria - Operations at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court are set to continue as normal today after a fire broke out in the building's basement on Monday.

Emily Dlamini, the Gauteng Regional Head at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said court cases would be able to continue on Tuesday as the equipment needed by court staff to carry out their duties had not been burnt or damaged.

"They will be able to carry out their duties," she told BuaNews.

The accused that have been arrested will be transported to the Magistrate's Court and held at the holding cells of the individual courtrooms while they wait to appear before court.

The holding cells at the basement of the court building were damaged in Monday's fire.

Arrangements have been also made to use the court inside the Pretoria Central police station to handle cases and hear matters of Pretoria Central prisoners. The police station is situated near the court.

She said investigations into the cause of Monday's fire were still continuing.

A total of 12 prisoners were trapped in the building for a short while after the fire broke out. However, all were rescued by emergency personal unharmed.