Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Man Arrested in Connection to St. George's Cathedral Fire

St. George's Cathedral blocked off following an arson attack Sunday morning (Photo via Armand Hough/African News Agency).

Following a suspected arson attack at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, police said they have arrested a suspect. 

Police say they believe the 40-year-old man was the arsonist responsible for the fire over the weekend at St. George's Cathedral. 

The cathedral notably houses the remains of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Police received notice of the attack in the early hours of Sunday morning. The arsonist allegedly started the fire and fled the scene. The fire was extinguished around 4 a.m. Sunday with no reported damage to the cathedral.

Preliminary investigations show a burning cotton ball was thrown into the basement of the cathedral through a barred window, according to cathedral officials. 

"Surveillance cameras of a hospitality establishment in the area captured footage of a possible suspect," said South African Police Services spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut. "He was spotted close to the crime scene when detectives conducted their investigation." 

The reason for the arson attack is still under investigation. The arrested suspect is expected to appear in court Wednesday 9 February.

By Ben Rappaport

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