A fire alleged to have been caused by electrical fault has robbed Gaborone residents of one of the oldest clubhouses at the Gaborone Golf Club. This has saddened and angered the golfers who believe the Gaborone City Council Fire department could have done more to save their clubhouse from burning to ashes as they took a long time to arrive at the scene and also brought two empty fire fighter trucks and the third was only a quarter full.
The original clubhouse was designed by Peter Harrison and built by Derek Beesley in 1967. The old bar is the central part of the present bar area.
According to one of the golfers who was on the golf course when the fire broke out, “the fire fighters were only called when the smoke was noticed, they delayed, came very late and not well equipped to save our club until the Botswana Defence Force fire fighters were called to assist. By then it was too late to rescue our club.”
The club manager Andre Du Plessis was however quick to defend the fire fighters stating that when people are upset they tend to speculate. “I have no issue against the fire fighters. You cant expect them to arrive immediately when you call them. They did all they could to help,” he said further adding that they would not speculate as to what could have caused the fire. He said the investigations into the cause are ongoing.
Du Plessis said it will cost around P6 million to build the clubhouse. He however said since the golf course was not affected, they will not stop trading but would find ways to keep it going until the clubhouse is up again.
Central Police Station said they received the report about the fire around 2pm on Sunday. “Evaluations on the extent of the damage are ongoing. We are also still investigating the cause as there was nobody in the clubhouse as it was only to be opened later on the day,” Station Commander Superintendent Modisaotsile Bonang said in an interview.
Gaborone City Council Town Clerk Mpho Mathe acknowledged that they have a problem of fleet shortage in the fire department and that two of their big trucks are not functioning properly. Mathe further said they are in the process of procuring more fire engines for the city as the numbers they currently have are not sufficient.