Kalahari fire

Image via: Adobe Stock

Kalahari fire: Death toll rises to nine as victim passes away in hospital

A total of nine people, including very young children, have died after a ferocious fire that broke out at a holiday lodge in the Kalahari.

Kalahari fire

Image via: Adobe Stock

Nine people have tragically lost their lives in what has become known as the Kalahari fire. On Sunday 16 August Witdraai police in the Northern Cape opened an inquest docket into the death of seven people after a holiday resort apartment burned down in the early hours of the morning. Just two days later, the death toll has increased by two.


On Tuesday 18 August, 36-year-old Frans Davin, who was admitted to a hospital in Cape Town, with serious burns, succumbed to his injuries. He has become the latest victim in the Kalahari fire.

“His passing was confirmed this morning. This brings the number of people who died to nine,” said Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba. 

“Meanwhile, the Forensic Fire Investigator and the Forensic Anthropologists are expected to process the scene soon,” he added. 

Following the horrific Kalahari fire, police said one child was missing. On Monday 17 August, police Search and Rescue members, members of K9 and the local police retrieved some bones from the debris. 

“It cannot be confirmed at this stage if the remains are of the missing child. Forensic Fire  Investigators and Forensic Anthropologists are awaited to process the scene. Identification will be confirmed as soon as the experts have concluded their investigations,” said Ramatseba.


On Monday, police communicated that eight people had died in the Kalahari fire. This was before the death of Frans Davin. While providing the update, police said the eight were made up of five children and three adults. 

Ramatseba said only three survived without any injuries. 

“The number of people who died in an inferno that erupted at a guest house in Witdraai has risen to eight. The eighth victim succumbed to burn wounds at a hospital in Cape Town,” said Ramatseba.

The names of the deceased have been updated and released as follows; 

  • Henry Carstens, 37-year-old male;
  • Stefan Bauer 39-year-old male;
  • Elre Bauer four-year-old male;
  • Frans Davin five-year-old  male;
  • Eliza Davin three-year-old female;
  • Dane Carstens 36-year-old male;
  • Magiel Carstens- three-year-old male;
  • Pierre Carstens five-year-old boy;
  • Frans Davin 36-year-old male

The missing child is Inge Bauer, just seven-years-old. Police are still yet to confirm whether the bones are that of Bauer.

The survivors are: 

  • Wilmien Davin 37-year-old female;
  • Madeline  Bauer 36-year-old female; and 
  • Ben Davin one-year-old boy.