Arson feared after Rondebosch Common burns again

Another fire at the Rondebosch Common has raised suspicions of arson.

Two fires at Rondebosch Common in as many weeks have raised suspicions in the community that something sinister is behind them.

The fire on Sunday February 7 came two weeks after a similar blaze on Thursday January 21 burnt 9.3 hectares of endangered Cape Flats sand fynbos.

Brett Adams, the chairman of the Friends of Rondebosch Common (FRC), says it is concerning to have another big fire on the common, and he believes arson could be behind it.

“The one yesterday was started in three places which includes Klipfontein Road and Sawkins Road as well as an area in the middle of the common near Milner Road,” he said.

The Roeland Street and Mitchell’s Plain fire brigades extinguished the fire at about 5.40pm after getting the call-out at 3.20pm, according to City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse. He said the cause of the fire was unknown. The wind had directed it towards the corners of Klipfontein and Sawkins roads, he said.

The Rondebosch Community Improvement District (RCID) has asked anyone who might have seen something suspicious in the vicinity of the common in the past four weeks to come forward.

RCID manager Shirley Aldum said they relied on the public to alert them to any problems in the area because it was hard to patrol the common 24 hours a day.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service at the scene of the latest fire at Rondebosch Common.

Ward councillor Sharon Cottle said it was worrying not knowing what was causing the fires. Fire could benefit fynbos growth, but repeated burns were bad for the environment, she said.

The police have not opened an investigation into the fire, according to Rondebosch police spokesman Captain Lewis Westin, but they have also asked anyone with information to come forward. Contact Rondebosch police at 021 685 7345.