The arsonist who was arrested for starting four separate vegetation fires on the slopes of Table Mountain on Tuesday appeared in the Cape Town’s Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Yumbu Barnard Ndambele appeared briefly, and the matter was postponed until next Thursday pending bail information and application.
Ndamdele told the court that he had burned the mountain to deliver a message. He is likely to be sent for psychiatric evaluation. The accused has also applied for legal aid.
Alderman JP Smith, Mayco representative for Safety, Security and Social Services, said it is expected that bail would be opposed and the State would request a 7-day postponement to prepare for a bail application.
The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Internal Investigations Unit (SSII Unit) will work together to conduct watching briefs and a shadow investigation to support the investigation by the South African Police Services.
“The City of Cape Town will be tracking with interest the case of the accused arsonist who allegedly started four separate fires on the slopes of Table Mountain,” Smith said. “The suspect will remain detained at Pollsmor Prison as further investigation is conducted.”
Smith also notes that this matter is of significant public interest.
The man was arrested shortly after fire crews were deployed to fight the blazes on Tuesday, and was found in possession of petrol and other fire-inciting equipment.
The firefighting operation set authorities back by almost R400 000.