A suspect was taken into custody on Sunday night as the City of Cape Town investigates reports about the original blaze being due to arson and of additional fires being started.
This was disclosed on Monday by a mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith. “There is a lot of speculation about additional fires that were started, and whether the original fire was an act of arson. This will form part of investigations, but the city can confirm one suspect in his 30s was taken into custody last night in the vicinity of Devil’s Peak”.
He said the suspect “was spotted by a resident who tracked him down with the help of his sons and the family’s dogs. The matter is with the police for investigation and further details will follow as they become available.”
Table Mountain National Park said initial investigations showed a fire suspected to have been left unattended by a vagrant is believed to have been the cause of the original blaze.
The fire continues to rage on Monday and has spread in the direction of Vredehoek. Smith said all efforts remain focused on active firefighting for the moment, although the fire is hard to reach in places.
“We hope aerial firefighting support can be deployed to douse the flames before they reach the urban edge. However, the wind could impact on this deployment.
“For the moment, there are some precautionary evacuations taking place in Vredehoek, but no other evacuations were necessary overnight.”
So from this morning’s shot I took at 4am, the situation right now is this:
— 𝕬𝖓𝖙𝖍𝖔𝖓𝖞 𝕸𝖔𝖑𝖞𝖓𝖊𝖆𝖚𝖝 (@AJGMolyneaux) April 19, 2021
Smith commended firefighters and other teams involved in trying to douse the flames, and thanked the public “for opening their hearts and wallets to the firefighters, but also the students who were evacuated by the University of Cape Town (UCT)”.
On Sunday the blaze engulfed the Rhodes Memorial restaurant and parts of UCT, including the Jagger Library which housed the priceless African Studies collection.
#CapeTownFire #CapeTownFires #CapeTown
Upper Vredehoek, Deer Park & Oranjezicht on high alert. Residents on the edge of the reserve have been evacuated since 4am this morning. pic.twitter.com/1KKYxcDE02
— Ian Gordon (@ifgordon) April 19, 2021
Mostert’s Mill before and after. The historic windmill in Mowbray, Cape Town was built in 1796. It was the oldest surviving windmill in South Africa. Qamata sicel’ imvula. 💔🙏🏾@SANParks #capetown #capetownfires pic.twitter.com/P0Aq9EWXlR
— Asanda Sizani (@AsandaSizani) April 19, 2021