Knysna fires consume Harold Verster’s family home

Harold Verster's family home in Knysna was burnt to the ground by wildfires.

Managing Director of Free State Rugby, Harold Verster, is among those whose houses burnt down as massive fires ravaged through numerous suburbs in Knysna in the Western Cape on Wednesday night.

Thousands of residents had to be evacuated to places of safety following the wildfires.
Verster told Courant that only six inches of ash is left where their family home used to be at Brenton-on-Sea.

He says the house was built by his father 36 years ago and his family has been left devastated following this huge loss of property.

“We’ve visited it each and every December and gathered around during Christmas time as a family. So you can imagine all the emotion and memories. Even my grandchildren now experienced the house with us. So for us it’s very emotional this sad thing that happened but we will have to rebuild it from the ashes.

“We’ll have to go down to Brenton to see what happened because the neighbour’s house is gone and behind us there’s a number of houses that burnt down to ashes. We’ll have to evaluate the situation. And then we’ve got a small insurance – unfortunately not enough for something. So the family will gather around to see how to approach this disaster and how to take it forward,” he said.

Knysna Fire Relief

Residents in the several regions in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape need assistance after they were displaced by the wildfires. Food, warm clothes, blankets, water and nappies are just some of their urgent needs. Cash donations of any amount can also be made to help affected victims.

Should you wish to make a cash donation, it can be paid into the Algoa Cares Charity account.

These funds will be made available to the Eden Lions and the POPS Foundation, to support the victims of the fires.

Bank Details

Bank Account: ABSA Bank

Account Number: 406 199 3224

Branch Code: 632005

Reference: Algoa Cares Rescue

Other donations can be dropped off at the Bloemfontein Courant and OFM offices at Central Media Park at 7 Christo Groenewald Street, Bloemfontein during office hours (07:30 – 16:30).

– Moeketsi Mogotsi