An investigation is underway to establish the cause of a fire that broke out on Tuesday night at the Rustenburg Local Municipality’s Traffic Department in Geelhoudpark.
The fire damaged several vehicles, with five of them completely burned down.
Despite not knowing what sparked the fire, municipal spokesperson, Thapelo Matebesi, said an arson charge has been laid.
“To open a case of arson is a standard procedure. In the event where a government building is burnt we cannot just fold our arms and say well let bygones be bygones. It’s a standard procedure, we have to open a case of arson that a building, a property or asset has been damaged," said Matebesi.
He confirmed that the burnt vehicles had been impounded but said the municipality is not liable for the cost of the damage since these cars had been forfeited to the local authority.
“These are the old cars that were impounded by our public safety directorate law enforcement officers about four or five years ago. So they had been parked there for a very long time wherein their owners could not or failed to come and pay them off so that they could be released. As for the liability, there is a specified period wherein the owner of the car should have come to pay for it so that it could be released to them.
There is a specific period wherein they are informed during the impounding process and failure to do that then they forfeit the car to the municipality or the state,” said Matebesi adding that the station will continue functioning because its main office was not affected.