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Man accused of starting Betty’s Bay fire out on bail

Sheldon April is accused of having set fire to dry vegetation in the mountains above Betty's Bay, leaving 40 houses gutted, when he fired a signal flare.

Firefighters were on scene in the Betty's Bay area amid a fire on 11 January 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A man accused of having started a devastating fire in the Overstrand recently has been granted bail.

Sheldon April appeared in the Caledon Magistrates Court on Friday.

He's accused of shooting a signal flare that started the fire in Betty's Bay on New Year’s Eve.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Eric Ntabazalila says April has been granted a R5,000 bail.

While he’s received bail, he has to move out of Betty's Bay until his trial is concluded. For now, he'll live with his sister in Eerste River.

April has also been placed under house arrest and has been ordered to refrain from contacting the eyewitness.

He's accused of having set fire to dry vegetation in the mountains above Betty's Bay when he fired a signal flare.

This resulted in a devastating wildfire that gutted more than 40 houses.

The case has been postponed to 8 March.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)