DA councillor suspects foul play after her house burns to the ground

2019-02-04 13:44
Androe Botha's house in flames.

Androe Botha's house in flames. (Supplied)

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A DA councillor from Polokwane is still in shock after her house burnt down in the early hours of Monday morning.

Androe Botha, a single mother of four children, told News24 that she had been on her way home from Tzaneen when she started receiving pictures of her house engulfed in flames.

"The first message came through at 01:26. It took about half an hour for the fire to spread through the entire house."

The house, situated in the Roodepoort smallholding community in Polokwane, had five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large kitchen, dining room and a lounge.

PICS: Joburg DA councillor's house burnt to the ground

"Now there is nothing left to salvage," Botha said. "The roof collapsed, all the cupboards are burnt…there is nothing left."

Botha said that, fortunately, no one had been at home at the time of the blaze.

"My children were at my sister's and I was out of town."

Botha is currently an acting ward councillor and candidate for Ward 22 in the upcoming elections.

'Politically motivated'

She suspects that the fire may have been the result of arson and that it could have been politically motivated.

On Friday, Botha had an altercation with a councillor from another party who wanted her to recommend the approval of a liquor licence at a residential property. Botha refused.

She also told News24 said there had been a heated council meeting on Tuesday, where DA councillors were threatened by council members of other parties and told to "go back to Holland". Botha took a video during the meeting and was allegedly called "words that I didn't know existed".

Whether any of these incidents could be linked to the house fire was purely speculative, Botha acknowledged.

She had, however, received an anonymous bomb threat shortly before the 2016 municipal elections.

house
Androe Botha's house in flames on Monday morning. (Supplied)

Botha was full of praise for the South African Police Service (SAPS), who had provided "unbelievable" assistance.

At the time of News24's call to Botha, police were on the scene conducting a forensic investigation.

Arson being investigated

A SAPS member who was part of the investigation, Sergeant Mpandeni Nkuna, told News24 from the scene that police were investigating a case of arson.

"Investigators are still on the scene to do the preliminary investigation," Nkuna said.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi told News24 that the party's national executive had been made aware of the incident.

READ MORE: ANC KZN councillor's house set on fire

Limpopo DA leader Jacques Smalle said he had visited the scene and saw senior police and fire department officials investigating the cause of the fire.

While Smalle said arson could not be ruled out, it was too early to determine the cause of the blaze.

"We are not aware of any threats that have been made [against Botha]. We will have to wait to see what the investigation reveals," Smalle said. 

Read more on:    da  |  polokwane  |  fires
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