Waterkloof Air Force Base fire: Investigations underway – SANDF

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) say the fire which broke out at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria will now be the subject of a probe.

The SANDF’s spokesperson Brigadier General Andries Mahapa confirmed that the blaze started at around 19:00 on Sunday, 23 January 2022, but was contained in about an hour.

“The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) can confirm that on Sunday, 23 January 2022, a fire broke out at the Bulk Fuel Depot at Air Force Base Waterkloof at approximately 19:00 and was contained within the hour after it broke out by the South African Air Force Fire fighting teams from both Air Force Base Waterkloof and Air Force Base Swartkops in Valhalla, Pretoria,” Mahapa said.

ALSO READ: Watch: Concerns raised as fire breaks out at Waterkloof airbase


For now, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says at the Waterkloof Air Force Base suffered no structural damage as a result of the fire.

The scope of the investigation will include determining the cost of the fire and the circumstance which lead to it.

“The cause of the fire, the magnitude of the damage and the cost of the damage to the Bulk Fuel Depot will form part of an investigation that will interrogate all events and or incidents that might have led to the fire breakout at the Base. No structural damage was reported”

SANDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Andries Mahapa

Videos and photos of the fire have been widely circulated and many are quite concerned. This is the third important landmark in South Africa to suffer damage in a matter of weeks – in the beginning of January, the Parliamentary precinct also caught fire and soon afterwards, the windows of the Constitutional Court were smashed. While arrests have been made in connection with the aforementioned, the incidents have raised questions around the safety of key institutions and landmarks.

Many people will remember Waterkloof Air Force Base as where the controversial Gupta family landed when having to attend a wedding nearby. The move was symbolic of the ‘state capture era’, defining just how much control the billionaires had over SA’s national authorities.

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