500 decommissioned SANDF vehicles destroyed in fire

Jan

Who's the Boss?
Staff member
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
6,338
Hundreds of army vehicles destroyed in fire — which was put out by civilians

Hundreds of military vehicles were destroyed in a fire at the South African National Defence Force's Wallmansthal military base north of Pretoria this past week.

Volunteer firefighters from the Sinoville Firefighting Association were called to douse the fire at the outdoor storage area of the base on Thursday evening.
 

Gordon_R

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
18,788
There is an existing thread on this topic, though the version here has a lot more detail. See:
 

j4ck455

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
6,828
Botha explained that putting the fire out was challenging as the area had no fire lanes, the grass was very tall in certain areas, and the vehicles were parked tightly together.
It sounds like someone did not make sure the grass was cut regularly (if at all).

Why did this happen? Cadre deployment.
 

j4ck455

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
6,828
Insurance Claim?
I doubt that those vehicles would have been insured.

What insurance company would even insure decommissioned SANDF vehicles (kept on what has to be a key point site)?

The failure to keep the long grass cut and maintain firebreaks, especially after the previous reported fire that destroyed 88 vehicles, would give any insurance company plenty of reasons to outright reject any claim.

Whoever was on guard duty when this happened, is most likely responsible for starting the fire: I expect it was a cigarette but or zoll spliff combined with the wind that was mentioned.

Do they even know what started the previous fire?
 

Cosmik Debris

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
17,063
I doubt that those vehicles would have been insured.

No military vehicle is insured. They do not pay an annual licence fee and are also exempt from tolls. Even delaying a military vehicle at a toll gate is an offence. You cannot drive one with a civilian driver's licence either. You need a military licence. Their fuel is exempt from tax. This is all contained in the defence act. The state assumes responsibility for the driver's actions on the road. No insurance company would insure any vehicle that can be deployed specifically to fight a war anyway.
 

RonSwanson

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
7,923
I did basics in Wallmansthal in 1989 right next to this vehicle reserve depot and the fire breaks were maintained by a grader twice a month. It is just a simple case of everything this government does fails.
I did SADF bush phase close by (in Kloppersbos) and returned to that area many years later on a few occasions for subsequent training at Maleoskop. During bush phase, on a 40 km route march, one of the platoon members (a complete fscking genius) discovered and picked up a piece of unexploded ordinance, which seconds later started fizzing away in his hand like a really big fountain of fire. Luckily he threw it away as far as he could, and it gave a small explosion seconds later. The platoon clown (who was always on his own plak due to his cannabis habit) immeadiately went into "le houding laai" position and started firing at it (with his magazine filled with blank rounds). We all kakked him out, and our Bungalow Bill administered a few klaps, and we carried on walking our route, but the wind in that area picks up quite rapidly and in about 10-15 seconds we had a huge blaze (mainly from the ordinance, but I suspect that some of it was also caused by the blank rounds).
We all had full webbing on, limited water, but at least we had our sleeping bags and blankets, so in anticipation of the inevitable 8 hour opvok that we had coming to us, we stripped webbing and rifles and started beating the fire out with our blankets. It was in April, so lots of growth from summer, and no rain for the past two months, the bush was dry-ish, but the wind fueled it dramatically, very scary stuff, the fire literally chewed us up and spat us out. In a matter of seconds it spread out so far that 25 platoon members could not contain it. 2 minutes later another platoon joined us, disregarding our briefing that it was forbidden for us to communicate or facilitate contact in any way, but they had realised the gravity of our situation and started helping us to try and stamp out the fire. After 3 minutes, the situation was completely out of control, we realised that we were unable to run fast enough to keep up with the wind-fueled fire, so we called it off and regrouped. We all agreed that we had to let it burn, stamping it out was futile. And then, as suddenly as it came up, the wind died down, and so did the fire. Minutes later we had it all under control, 50 teenagers with black faces, singed eyebrows, blackened browns and melting boots, and all stinking of bushfire. The ordinance was located, disarmed and buried, as were the doppies from the blanks, and all evidence that remained of our ordeal was about 9 - 12 square kilometres of blackened bushveld.
If the brass ever found out about it, they never let on, so the only punishment we got (for this incident) was to have to sleep in TB trenches and foxholes with bushfire singed blankets for three weeks without any baths or showers. The platoon clown eventually got GP classification from the SAMS psychiatrist, and was sent back home to Seapoint, WC. We were all very relieved when this happened, he was the primary cause of us all to be very fit, I am convinced that olympic athletes would not have come close to us in terms of physical fitness.
My takeaway from this is is that a wind-fuelled bushfire is no match for man, no matter how many are present, and that proper planning and firebreaks are mandatory and need to be maintained regularly.
 

Natas

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
2,307
This article tells me there is a massive opportunity to start a private fire fighting business. People call you to tell you that their building / house is on fire.... at which point you say "let's talk price", once we receive PoP we will dispatch a vehicle. Or, you could have a premium based model. People pay you a small premium per month, if their house catches fire, or their car get stuck in a tree, you get over there. No cover, too bad, so sad....
 

RonSwanson

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
7,923
This article tells me there is a massive opportunity to start a private fire fighting business. People call you to tell you that their building / house is on fire.... at which point you say "let's talk price", once we receive PoP we will dispatch a vehicle. Or, you could have a premium based model. People pay you a small premium per month, if their house catches fire, or their car get stuck in a tree, you get over there. No cover, too bad, so sad....
Sophos, Marcus Crassus.
 

eg2505

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
26,025
interesting question for the veterans, could it be people nearby tried to get in and strip the vehicles to sell, or loot,
failing that set the place on fire. as nobody could have it , when we cant.
 

Happy Days

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
1,083
This article tells me there is a massive opportunity to start a private fire fighting business. People call you to tell you that their building / house is on fire.... at which point you say "let's talk price", once we receive PoP we will dispatch a vehicle. Or, you could have a premium based model. People pay you a small premium per month, if their house catches fire, or their car get stuck in a tree, you get over there. No cover, too bad, so sad....
Yep, do as the Romans did.
 

Thugscub

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
4,045
As I said. The asset register she balanced now.
All the stolen stuff she is burnt. Eish.
 

Oboe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
102
Scrapped, instant cash
Just like all the old aircraft on display.Very sad
 
Top