Wed, 24 Apr 2019

Residents in Betty's Bay are picking up the pieces after a fire raged through parts of the small town and other parts of the Overstrand area in the Western Cape over the last two weeks.

The Overstrand fires have been raging since New Year's Day. To date, 31 homes have been destroyed and 28 were damaged. The fires have been contained and pose no danger to people or property.

Residents are also counting the costs of the damage, with most damaged houses now left abandoned.

Couple Graham and Carol Clark were among the luckier residents as only their outside garage, which had several windows broken, was damaged.

(Kamva Somdyala, News24)

Man arrested over devastating Betty's Bay, Pringle Bay fires

(Kamva Somdyala, News24)

Johan and Suzette de Koker have been living on their property in the heart of Betty's Bay since 2006 when they built, painted and furnished the house from scratch.

"We had hired someone to paint it but then decided we wanted to do it. The walls inside, I painted," says a visibly heartbroken Johan.

(Kamva Somdyala, News24)

The man accused of starting the fire, Shelton April, appeared briefly in the Caledon Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of contravening the National Environmental Management Act.

He is accused of igniting the blaze after setting off a flare in the area on New Year's Day.

He will appear again in court later this month for a bail hearing and could face up to 20 years in prison.

(Kamva Somdyala, News24)

(Kamva Somdyala, News24)

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