Blaming homeless people for starting fires is discriminatory, says NPC

Social media users have in recent days blamed the Table Mountain fire suspect for igniting more blazes on the slopes of the mountain, allegations that have been refuted.

Firefighters leave an area where the flames become too aggressive, as a forest fire burns out of control on the foothills of Table Mountain, above the University of Cape Town, in Cape Town, on 18 April 2021. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

CAPE TOWN - Rehoming Collective said that the deliberate victimisation of homeless people being blamed for starting fires was unjust and discriminatory.

Social media users have in recent days blamed the Table Mountain fire suspect for igniting more blazes on the slopes of the mountain, allegations that have been refuted.

READ: NPA says man accused of starting Devil's Peak fire cannot be linked to arson

Rehoming Collective is a non-profit company (NPC) which has since given Frederick Mhangazo a place of shelter and helped him find a job.

“It’s unfortunately being used to advance a certain political agenda, and we have been struggling with that type of perception,“ said the NPC's Carlos Mesquita.

Mhangazo, who appeared in court last month, had his initial charge of arson reduced to a by-law infringement.

Mesquita said that his NPC aimed to eradicate homelessness in the city.

"The current system we have is no longer working. We have come up with a plan and proposal involving other organisations and we will come up with 10-year plan that will end chronic homelessness in Cape Town," Mesquita added.

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