Shelton April, 34, appeared in court and was formally charged with contravening the National Environmental Management Act.
The case was postponed to April 14 for the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide on a bail application and for a complete charge sheet to be set. April’s girlfriend and sister attended court.
It was still unclear whether April would face a charge of murder after the fire resulted in the death of a 59-year-old mother.
Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said Clarence Drive on the R44, between Rooi Els and Gordon’s Bay, remained closed.
It was understood that a flare was set off in Betty’s Bay on New Year’s Day leading to a fire in the mountains.
The City’s fire and rescue spokesperson Theo Layne said firefighters were having a challenge accessing the area. “The area is difficult to access as the other side is burning on the upper slopes of the mountain,” he said.
According to the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association, the fire was 60% contained.
Betty’s Bay Ratepayers Association said they were grateful for the aid and support they were receiving. Donations were requested for head lamp batteries (AAA), battery pack and airtime (R30 each). Urgent donations can be dropped off at Crassula Hall in Betty’s Bay, and the Hermanus Community Policing Forum will accept donations on a 24-hour basis at the Hermanus Fire and Rescue and Disaster Management offices at 14 Mussel Road.
Donations may also be made to the Overstrand municipality mayor’s special fund:
Account holder: Overstrand municipality
Account type: Current Account
Branch code: 334-812
Account number: 3220000035
Payment reference: Mayoral fund B/Bay fire followed by either the words (*reward) or (support*).