Suspect arrested in connection with Cape Town fire

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A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the inferno on Table Mountain which has caused damage to buildings at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and forced evacuations in the Vredehoek area.

The City of Cape Town says they are still looking for two other suspects who have evaded arrest.

Police say the man was caught in Phillip Kgosana Drive on Sunday night in the vicinity where the blaze broke out.

This comes after the local neighbourhood watch allegedly saw three men making a fire on the slopes of Table Mountain and alerted law enforcement authorities.

Police say the arrested suspect faces a charge of arson and is expected to appear in court soon.

Raging fire

Disaster management authorities in Cape Town say strong south-easterly winds may hamper efforts to deploy aerial support to fight a raging fire on Table Mountain.

Residents of Vredehoek have already been evacuated and at least three buildings, including the library, damaged at the University of Cape Town.

Local Government Ministry spokesperson James-Brent Styan says, “The concern remains for what the new day is going to bring in terms of weather, indication seems to be that strong winds can be expected. Certainly that is a cause for concern aerial firebombing will be reconsidered and deployed at first light if possible and if conditions allow.”

SABC News’ Vanessa Poonah reports on the Table Mountain fire:

Assessing the damage

The University of Cape Town says it is still assessing the damage caused by a fire on Table Mountain.

Three buildings on the campus, including the library, were damaged when the inferno broke out on Sunday.

Gallery of the fire and destruction below:

UCT Spokesperson Elijah Moholola says they have managed to arrange alternative accommodation and food.

“At this stage, we do not know the full extent of the fire and the impact of the fire,” says Moholola.

He says the University is continuing to monitor affected buildings on campus. “We’re expecting a number of our teams to conduct a bit of assessment,” adds Moholola.

Moholola says the university activity was suspended for two days:

Additional reporting Mlamli Maneli.