POLICE are on the trail of the arsonists who set fire to a popular community facility at Humansdorp over the weekend.
According to Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson, the Humansdorp Country Club was broken into and set alight on Saturday night.
The fire was reported to the Kouga Fire Department at 9:15pm. Vehicles were immediately despatched to the scene, with backup assistance from Jeffreys Bay.
Firefighters found the storeroom at the hall engulfed by flames and battled until 22:30 to extinguish the blaze.
“The affected section was badly damaged, with only the wall left standing. The rest of the building suffered extensive smoke damage,” he said.
Benson said it was unclear what the motivation of the perpetrators was but that that police were investigating a case of arson and malicious damage to public property.
“Preliminary evidence shows that entry was gained forcibly through the back of the main building and then through the hall,” he said.
He said the cost of the damage was expected to be significant and that insurance assessors would be crunching the numbers once their own investigation was done.
He said the fire was a blow to all Kouga communities as the Country Club has always been a popular venue for a variety of events, from sports matches to workshops.
“It is a public asset and the attempt to destroy it is an attack on the community at large.
“The facility will now have to be closed for a period yet to be determined, affecting all those who make use of the venue.”
Benson called on anyone with information to approach the police and called on community leaders to rise and mobilise residents against the destruction of public property.