A suspect has been apprehended after a runaway fire devastated the communities of Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay in the Overstrand area. The fire was suspected to have been caused by a spark from a flare released on New Year’s Eve, and the 34-year-old suspect has been arrested for contravention of the Nature Conservation Act.
This charge is far more serious than a simple charge of arson.
“We arrested the suspect for the fires. We’ve got witnesses also. We locked the suspect at Kleinmond police station,” Captain Harold Nqwenani told News24.
The fire has affected several areas besides Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, including Rooi Els and Hangklip.
One victim was also found dead as residents were being evacuated to Crassula Hall in the centre of Betty’s Bay.
The suspect is a resident of Mooiuitsig near Betty’s Bay, and an R5 000 reward was previously offered for any information leading to his successful arrest.
The man will appear in court on Monday, January 7.