FREDERICK Mhangazo, a Tanzanian national, yesterday appeared in Cape Town court, South Africa, accused of starting the city fires that destroyed almost 600 hectares of land and several local institutions across the Mother City.
SAUTI KUBWA is closely following the news of the fire that has sparked an outrage in Cape Town and forced some families to flee their residents while businesses are closed.
The news comes just 48 hours after the fire started, and quickly got out of control. The University of Cape Town, the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant, and even Mostert’s Mill were all badly damaged by the flames. Frederick Mhangazo was officially named in court on Tuesday, after responding to the charges of arson filed against him.
Mhangazo’s lawyer is claiming innocence for the 38-year-old, saying that he has been ‘wrongfully accused’. While in the dock, the defense also stated that Mhangazo ‘has no criminal record to speak of’. Meanwhile, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Spokesperson in the Western Cape, Eric Ntabazalila, confirmed to the media:
‘’Frederick Mhangazo appeared at Cape Town Regional Court. The Tanzanian national is charged with arson. His case has been postponed to 28 April.”
The accused was apprehended by the side of Table Mountain on Sunday evening. He made no attempt to flee the scene of the crime, and at one stage, was accused of trying to start another blaze while the Cape Town fires raged. He was discovered by a group of nearby residents, who used their protection dogs to track Mhangazo down.