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Man arrested for Table Mountain fire no longer faces arson charges

Mhangazo had his arson charge changed to lighting or causing an open fire without proper authority.
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Man arrested for starting Cape Town fire no longer faces arson charges

The man alleged to have started one of the mountain fires in Cape Town, which firefighters battled for more than three days, was granted bail of R500 in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Frederick Mhangazo was initially charged with arson, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, but the National Prosecuting Authority said he could not be linked to arson.

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The state will likely be charging Mhangazo with contravening the National Environmental Management Act.

The possible sentence for contravening the Environmental Management Act is three years.

The matter has been postponed for further investigations with proceedings expected to resume on 18 June.

Mhangazo was arrested on 18 April after a Devil’s Peak resident reported seeing a group of men starting at least three separate fires on the mountain slopes.

It is understood that Mhangazo may have been living on the slopes of the mountain after moving to South Africa from Tanzania several years ago.

News24 reported that he has allegedly been waiting for a study visa since his arrival.

 

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