Betty's Bay fire: Man accused of starting blaze granted bail

2019-02-01 16:45
 Residents in Betty's Bay are picking up the pieces after the fire. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)

Residents in Betty's Bay are picking up the pieces after the fire. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)

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The man accused of starting the devastating Overstrand fire, Sheldon April, has been granted bail in the Caledon Magistrate's Court.

April is accused of starting the New Year's Day fire that ripped through the Betty's Bay area, destroying over 30 houses in the process.

It is believed that April shot a flare, which started the fire, during New Year's Eve celebrations.

He was arrested on January 3.

On Friday, April was granted R5 000 bail and will be under house arrest at his sister's home in Elsies River, NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed.

At his bail application proceedings early this month, TimesLIVE reported that April, who has previous run-ins with the law, tried to intimidate state witnesses, including eyewitness Heinrich Adonis. One of April's bail conditions is to not contact any eyewitnesses.

April, 34, faces charges which include contravening the National Environmental Management Act.

He faces up to 20 years in prison.  

The case has been postponed to March 8.

PICS: Betty's Bay residents recall 'panic' as fire inched closer to homes

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.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  fires
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