Skilled pilot was respected – SANParks

2015-03-09 07:24
Willem Hendrik “Bees” Marais. (@AlettaGardner, Twitter)

Willem Hendrik “Bees” Marais. (@AlettaGardner, Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Willem "Bees" Marais, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday while battling a fire at Cape Point, was a respected pilot, the SA National Parks said.

"Bees, as he was affectionately known by friends and family alike, played a vital role in suppressing the fire that has burnt across the Table Mountain National Park during the course of this week," SANParks board chairperson Kuseni Dlamini said in a statement on Sunday.

"His vast knowledge, experience and skill as a helicopter pilot was respected by all."

Marais' helicopter crashed while fighting a blaze at the Cape Point Nature Reserve on Sunday.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa sent condolences to pilot Willem "Bees" Marais' family following his death on Sunday.

"I wish to express the government's and my personal condolences to the pilot's wife, Mrs Jackie Marais, family, friends and his colleagues in the Working on Fire programme," Molewa said in a statement.

Family, friends and Colleagues of Willem Marais are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at


At least 500 people had been evacuated since the fire began in Muizenberg.

The fire started last Sunday and was contained, but flared up again just after on Monday in Muizenberg above Boyes Drive. It was fanned by strong winds.

It spread to Ou Kaapse Weg, Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay, and Tokai.

One city fire-fighter sustained burn wounds and 52 frail-care residents from a Noordhoek retirement village were treated for smoke inhalation.

More than 2000 people were helping to quell the fire during the week, the environmental affairs department said at the time.

Read more on:    sanparks  |  cape town  |  fires

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.