Polokwane court damaged in fire
The Polokwane Magistrate's Court was damaged when it caught fire on Friday morning, Limpopo police said.
Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that there was a fire, but could not provide any details.
"We can't comment now because a docket still has to be opened."
The Beeld website reported that several awaiting trial prisoners were confined inside the building when the fire started.
By 11am the building was evacuated, while the fire was still raging.
Beeld journalist Marietie Louw-Carstens reported that the upper part of the court house had burnt down.
Louw-Carstens was covering a lawsuit in the building when the building caught fire.
"The next moment, people just started screaming and running. It was chaos."
Three fire trucks and six ambulances were on the scene.
The entire downtown of Polokwane was cordoned-off due to the fire.
It was not yet clear what caused the fire, but it seemed as if it originated in the magistrate's offices, it was reported.
Several people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema appeared at the court on September 26 on a charge of money-laundering. He was released on bail and expected to return on November 30.