Social Media was ablaze this weekend with users sharing pictures of the aftermath of a fire that took place at popular Langebaan restaurant Die Strandloper.
The images were shared to social media with captions claiming that the fire was started by individuals who did not receive a food parcel as they were being handed out by the restaurant. One user shared the image with the following caption “those who didn’t get decided to retaliate and burn the place down… this is how grateful people are to helping hands…”
However, Justin Maltby, the co-owner of Strandloper has come out and confirmed to News24 that these claims are indeed false and the fire was not stared by people who didn’t receive food parcels. Tthe restaurant has been closed for the last six weeks, and hasn’t handed out food parcels at all during the time of lockdown.
According to Maltby “We had a fire at around 11pm on Wednesday. We thought it was pure vandalism – about 60% of the restaurant was damaged. Nothing to do with food parcels whatsoever. Nothing like that happened; it was purely an act of vandalism.”
Caron Maltby, co-owner of Die Strandlooper also believes the fire was an act of vandalism telling IOL “There were two separate fire points, so that’s what makes them think it wasn’t just someone trying to keep warm at night.”
SAPS spokesperson Coleonel Andre Traut confirmed that the cause of the blaze was still under investigation “This office can confirm that Langebaan police are looking into the circumstances surrounding a fire at a local restaurant which occurred late on Wednesday evening to determine if arson was committed,” Traut told IOL.
“Our detectives are still gathering evidence and it is too soon to speculate on the status of the investigation.”