CapeTalk Celebrating 20 years
capetalk-20in140-articleheader-700x300-2006jpg

2006: John Maytham recalls the devastating 2006 Table Mountain fire

This October, CapeTalk is celebrating its 20th birthday by reliving some of the most impactful stories of the past twenty years, as told by some of our favourite personalities. Click here to view the rest of the stories.

What a grim irony that we're talking about those fires and that fire relief on a day where there are another two big fires.

John Maytham, CapeTalk presenter

As firefighters continue to battle a blaze that started near Oudekraal on Wednesday and saw the evacuation of the 12 Apostles Hotel last night, John Maytham joined Kieno Kammies to reflect on the 2006 Table Mountain fire that threatened homes, cut off groups of hikers, and killed one woman.

That particular fire was caused by a British tourist flicking a cigarette butt out of a car window - but Maytham recalled that it was a "summer of fires", and led to a "growing awareness" of the efforts of our firefighting teams.

Our professional firefighters, and the wonderful large corps of amateur firefighters are utterly heroic ... they put themselves on the line day after day.

John Maytham, CapeTalk presenter
Flames threaten homes during the 2006 Table Mountain fire.

On the Friday morning after the fires started, Maytham recalls, he received a call from Liz Westby-Nunn of the Portfolio Collection.

She told him a story of a volunteer firefighter, and revealed that they volunteers need to purchase their own gear.

The uniforms that they buy themselves get so hot that they literally melt.

John Maytham, CapeTalk presenter.

Westby-Nunn told him that she had R10 000 to donate to the firefighting efforts, and asked whether or not CapeTalk had a fund to which she could donate.

They didn't, but Maytham and CapeTalk scrambled to set one up.

Literally within an hour and a half, we set up this machine ... We started with R100 000, and ended up with R1.5 million.

John Maytham, CapeTalk presenter.

Describing how the city of Cape Town rallied, Maytham recalled the story of a nine-year-old that phoned in.

Uncle John, I've just counted the money in my piggy bank and there's R140 and I want to donate that.

John Maytham, CapeTalk presenter.

Watch as John Maytham reflects on the 2006 Table Mountain Fire below.


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
2016: Abongile Nzelenzele reflects on the US election

2016: Abongile Nzelenzele reflects on the US election

As we round out 20 years of celebration, Abongile Nzelenzele remembers the reaction to Donald Trump's presidential victory.

2015: Koketso Sachane discusses #FeesMustFall

2015: Koketso Sachane discusses #FeesMustFall

As we continue to celebrate our 20th birthday, Koketso Sachane reflects on the fees protests that began in earnest in 2015.

2014: Pippa Hudson reflects on the Shrien Dewani trial

2014: Pippa Hudson reflects on the Shrien Dewani trial

As we continue to celebrate 20 years of great radio, afternoon host Pippa Hudson remembers the controversial Shrien Dewani trial.

2005: Nisa Allie remembers the shocking murder of baby Jordan

2005: Nisa Allie remembers the shocking murder of baby Jordan

Former EWN reporter Nisa Allie reflects on the killing of baby Jordan-Leigh Norton in CapeTalk's 20th birthday month.

2004: Mike Wills reflects on Jacob Zuma, Schabir Shaik, and more

2004: Mike Wills reflects on Jacob Zuma, Schabir Shaik, and more

As we continue our 20th birthday celebrations, we're joined by former general manager Mike Wills, who reflects on an extraordinary year.

2003: Nigel Pierce remembers the Sizzlers massacre in Sea Point

2003: Nigel Pierce remembers the Sizzlers massacre in Sea Point

As we reflect on 20 years of CapeTalk, former presenter Nigel Pierce remembers the killing of nine men at a massage parlour.

Popular articles
Van Damme: De Lille has until Monday to respond to maladministration claims

Van Damme: De Lille has until Monday to respond to maladministration claims

The DA has suspended Patricia de Lille from party activities but Eusebius McKaiser says its statement 'is clear as mud'.

LISTEN: Father of drowned toddler speaks of dangers and heartbreak

LISTEN: Father of drowned toddler speaks of dangers and heartbreak

Connor Weber, fell unnoticed into a bin of water and drowned.

Fund manager lays criminal charges against former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste

Fund manager lays criminal charges against former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Benguela Global Fund Managers Chief Investment Officer Zwelakhe Mnguni.

The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

Financial Mail editor Rob Rose chats to Eusebius McKaiser about how Steinhoff became the retail giant we know, before the fall.

Zuma order to pay costs of failed legal suit, a damning indictment: Law expert

Zuma order to pay costs of failed legal suit, a damning indictment: Law expert

Law professor at Wits says the President has now been warned to consider his options very careful when playing delaying tactics.

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

Entrepreneur Max Lichaba built his own empire and is the CEO of Lichaba Creations and several other businesses. This is his story.