Johannesburg - Government and the police minister have to pay for the damages caused by a run-away veld fire which started at a police training facility at Verdrag in Limpopo, the Saturday Citizen reported.
The High Court in Pretoria on Thursday ruled that government and police had negligently failed to do everything in their power to stop the spread of the fire, which started at the Thabazimbi Training Institute on the Verdrag farm.
According to the newspaper, the fire had spread to 14 neighbouring farms.
Judge Johan Louw declared that they were liable for the damage sustained by the 14 farm owners and Mr AA Rontgen, who suffered serious burns.
According to evidence a small fire started while trainees of the National Intervention Unit were busy with a shooting exercise on the skirmish range.
They tried to stop the fire with six small indoor fire extinguishers but it soon started spreading rapidly. The fire raged out of control for several days before it was finally extinguished. - Sapa