Defend Truth

GROUNDUP

Suspected Fish Hoek arsonist released by police over lack of evidence

Suspected Fish Hoek arsonist released by police over lack of evidence
Four houses were destroyed by a raging fire that swept across Fish Hoek, below Elsies Peak, on Sunday. (Photos: Steve Kretzmann)

Insufficient evidence against man accused of starting devastating fire that destroyed four houses.

The 28-year-old man arrested and charged with deliberately starting a fire in Fish Hoek that destroyed four houses and severely damaged at least four more on Sunday, was released on Wednesday. This is because the police did not have sufficient evidence to bring the case to court.

Fanned by gale-force southeast winds, the fire which started around midday, raced through the residential area on the slope between Main Road and Echo Road in Sunny Cove, Fish Hoek.

Read more in Daily Maverick: A 28-year-old man arrested after devastating Fish Hoek fire

The following day, provincial police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said a 28-year-old man “found in the vicinity of the fire” had been arrested and charged with arson.

He was to appear in the Simon’s Town Magistrates’ Court on 9 April. On Wednesday, 10 April Pojie provided an update, stating that the suspect had been released as the case was not enrolled at court due to “insufficient evidence at this stage”.

“The investigation continues,” he said.

Fire Service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said more than 20 “firefighting resources” had attended the scene after being alerted “just after midday”. Carelse said firefighters concentrated on saving property. However, the extensive damage to formal houses is estimated to cost millions of rands.

Residents, writing to GroundUp since the fire, have praised the firefighters for their efforts.

Fish Hoek blaze

This is the area above the Main Road where the fire started. (Photo: Steve Kretzmann)

When we visited the scene on 8 April, it was clear the fire had started just above the Main Road where stairs are set into the embankment. Despite rain throughout the previous night, there were still smouldering embers and firefighters on site monitoring the situation.

Residents whose houses had been destroyed were picking through the debris while some of those whose houses were damaged already had contractors on site assessing repairs. DM

First published by GroundUp.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.