Waterkloof fire: No foul play, says SANDF

The Waterkloof Air Force Base on fire. PHOTO: TWITTER/YUSUF ABRAMJEE

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Monday said no foul play is suspected in the Waterkloof Air Force Base fire, reports The Citizen.

It’s suspected a pipe burst at the bulk fuel storage, however, Brigadier-General Andries Mahapa says “investigations are underway”.

The cause of the fire, the magnitude of the damage and the cost of the damage to the bulk fuel depot will be determined, as well as incidents which may have led to the fire breakout.

On Sunday, spokesperson Roland Fredericks told The Citizen that a truck has been sent to the base to investigate.

“I just spoke to the emergency control room, no fire has been reported in the past couple of hours. We did send a vehicle to investigate whether there is a fire or a possible grass fire around the base”.

He added: “We will send out an update as soon as we receive any further information”.

No foul play

Meanwhile, Brigadier-General Mahapa said the bulk fuel depot is a restricted area.

“There’s no way a person can come in here and do any foul play without being seen or detected. No foul play whatsoever”.

However, South Africans remain sceptical, and the Waterkloof Air Force Base fire sparked fears of another attack on a national key point.

National key points at risk?

Earlier this month, several buildings in the Parliament precinct – both the Old Assembly Wing and the National Assembly Wing – sustained severe damage in a fire.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chamber Offices, the library, and a museum were all spared in the blaze, which started on 2 January.

On 5 January 2022, police also arrested a 36-year-old murder convict out on parole for smashing windows at the Constitutional Court with a hammer.

The suspect, Paul Makaula, made his first appearance in the dock of the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on 7 January, where the court heard the damage was estimated at R50,000.