Francistown High Court employees were frantically evacuated from offices on Monday after the switchboard operator received a call from an anonymous caller that he/she has planted a bomb in the building.
The caller warned the operator to tell workers to evacuate the building as soon as possible. Botswana Defence Force (BDF) officers, police security agents and firemen were immediately deployed to disable the bomb and secure the area. A barricade was mounted to stop people from entering the premises and vehicles were also prevented from passing next to the high court. Employees of other premises in the immediate vicinity such as Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) were also instructed to evacuate their buildings.
A high court employee who wanted to remain anonymous said they received the call around 08:50 hrs. “Our colleague who works at the switchboard told management that she has received a call from someone with a deep voice that they have planted a bomb in the building and it will explode anytime so the best thing to do is to evacuate the building,” the employee said. Another worker said there was panic and pandemonium in the high court building as workers left their duty stations to head for the nearest exit. Judges and court clerks also evacuated the building bringing the legal justice to a standstill on the day. “I suspect that it’s someone who wanted to scare the high court employees so that they can have access into the court and maybe steal court files,” he said.
Detective Superintendent Junior Letebele of CID (No.15 District) was seen talking to high court employees and instructing them not to go anywhere while investigations continued. He also grouped the BURS employees to not go back to their building as they do not know what will happen. Letebele said they will brief the Press at a later time after concluding their investigations. However Botswana Guardian later learnt from reliable sources that the bomb scare was just another prank.