A man has been arrested following a blaze that tore through the Overstrand area, in the Western Cape.
According to police, a 34-year-old man had been arrested for contravention of the Nature Conservation Act – a charge more serious than arson.
“We arrested the suspect for the fires. We’ve got witnesses also. We locked the suspect at Kleinmond police station,” Captain Harold Nqwenani said on Thursday.
The fires have affected areas close to Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay, Hangklip and Rooi Els.
Overstrand Fire Services and Disaster Management chief Lester Smith confirmed one death, though details are still sketchy.
“Yes, one confirmed dead and SAPS and forensics will determine the cause,” Smith stated earlier on Thursday.
Police later confirmed the death.
“This office can confirm that a 59-year-old woman who stayed in Elizabeth Road, Pringle Bay, passed away this morning at about 01:20,” Captain FC van Wyk said.
“A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death. An inquest case was registered for further investigation.”
The suspect was a local resident of the Mooiuitsig community near Betty’s Bay, said Nqwenani.
Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday that a reward of R5 000 was being offered for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the fire.
The report said that a flare had been set off in Betty’s Bay, leading to a fire in the mountains.
Nqwenani said the man would appear in court on Monday, January 7.