Help needed to rebuild clubhouse

Jesse Wildeman, founder of Amagluglug FC in Parkwood standing on a pile of burnt rubble

The founder of a football club in Parkwood is asking for the community’s help to rebuild their clubhouse, which was destroyed in a fire.

Jesse Wildeman, founder of Amagluglug FC in Parkwood, was woken up by screams in the early hours of Thursday June 14. After midnight, neighbours alerted Mr Wildeman that his home at Frances Court in Hoosain Parker Street, in Parkwood, was on fire. The fire destroyed the back section of the premises, the kitchen, lounge and one of the rooms, including the makeshift clubhouse. The flat above Mr Wildeman’s was also affected when their windows shattered from the heat.

While Theo Layne, the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson, said the probable cause of the fire was heat from a fireplace that ignited the surrounding combustible materials,Mr Wildemans believes the fire was an arson attack. “The fire was not caused by my fireplace. There was foul play involved because there was no fire damage at the fireplace,” he said.

Mr Wildeman tried to open a case of arson at Grassy Park police station but was unable to do so.

“They told me foul play was not suspected so I couldn’t open a case. My children and I have lost almost everything in the fire and most of the soccer team’s equipment
and trophies were destroyed,” he said.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith confirmed a case of arson had not been opened at the station.

Ward councillor William Akim said the City assisted Mr Wildeman.

“We provided a container and a maintenance team was deployed to assess the damage. Insurance assessors have been deployed and they will start working on the damaged flats soon,” said Mr Akim.

Mr Wildeman hopes to continue doing community work through his football club.

Anyone willing to give donations of clothes, appliances, blankets, soccer equipment and other necessities can call Mr Wildeman on 079 863 6804.