Two men face R14m arson charge

Dan Fuphe

Dan Fuphe

A Mozambican and a South African believed to be behind the fire that burnt down two national stores in the Daveyton Mall, Ekurhuleni, on September 25, have been arrested.

The two were taken into custody on Friday. Damage estimated to be more than R14 million was caused at one of the stores.

Daveyton police spokesman Captain Alfred Nakana said the main suspect in the attempted robbery, arson and malicious damage to property case was a 33-year-old Mozambican, who at the time of the incident was employed by Pep Stores - one of the shops that was razed by the inferno.

Nakana said the man and his accomplice were arrested during a pre-dawn raid by members of the local police task team following an intensive investigation after a tip-off from the public.

"Since the arrest, police have also secured a confession from the main suspect,'' Nakana said.

Sources close to the investigation told Sowetan that on the night of September 25 the two broke into the Pep Stores with to break into the safe.

"Whilst they were busy using a cutting torch, sparks from it set fire to the shop. The blaze spread to Ackermans next door,'' the source said.

The fire was brought under control after more than 12 hours by several members of the Ekurhuleni Emergency Services.

Nakana said suspects would face charges of arson, attempted robbery and malicious damage to property in the Benoni regional court soon.