Ditsobotla mayor wants police to expedite investigation into the town hall fire

A fire has destroyed the town’s museum and done extensive damage to the town hall. File Picture: Pixabay

A fire has destroyed the town’s museum and done extensive damage to the town hall. File Picture: Pixabay

Published Oct 27, 2023


The mayor of Ditsobotla Local Municipality, Thabo Nkashe is appealing to the police to expedite their investigations into the fire that gutted municipal buildings in Lichtenburg.

He expressed his disappointment at the extensive damage done at the museum and the Lichtenburg town hall after the blaze on Tuesday night.

The fire reportedly started at the Ampie Bosman Cultural Museum and spread to the town hall.

North West police spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh said homeless children ran into the Lichtenburg police station at about 7.20pm on Tuesday to report that the town hall was on fire.

Colonel Myburgh said the cause of the fire was not yet known.

She said forensic investigators started their probe on Thursday, but they could not go into the building on Wednesday as the fire was still smouldering.

The police have opened an inquiry docket.

Nkashe said the cultural museum contained valuable items about the origin of Lichtenburg town and its surroundings.

He said the town hall was partially damaged, while the museum building and the artefacts inside were completely gutted by fire.

"It will not be possible for the municipality to replace everything inside the museum again."

The municipality was still busy quantifying all the damage to the building.

Nkashe pointed out that the damages have eroded the rich cultural history of the town, which was to be used by generations to come because the museum was a heritage site of the municipality.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the North West appealed for calm in Ditsobotla after a fire gutted the museum and the town hall.

The convenor of the provincial interim committee, Paul Sebegoe, called on law enforcement to thoroughly probe the incident and not leave any stone unturned until those responsible for torching the Lichtenburg town hall, were arrested.

"We wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible these acts of criminality, which are part of a push-back aimed at further destabilising the municipality, which is on the verge of collapse. Destruction of public property is not only a drawback but an indication of the desperation on the part of those who do not want good governance and development, which our communities in Ditsobotla are yearning for and rightfully deserve," said Sebegoe.

He called on the provincial government not to be deterred from its resolve to intervene decisively in Ditsobotla.

"Investigations into allegations of corruption and fraud, including ghost workers, must be expedited to expose the alleged shenanigans if the municipality is to serve our communities and meet its financial obligations."