Have you seen him? Cops release photos of Joburg suspected serial arsonist | News24


Police have released an image of the man suspected to be the Johannesburg northern suburbs arsonist.

  • Police have identified a suspect in the Johannesburg Northern suburb arson cases.
  • The suspect is accused of multiple cases of arson, murder, and burglary.
  • His image comes from footage taken from inside one of the homes he entered.

A man known as Sentious Novans is being sought by police who, after two years, have come up with a name and image of the man believed to be the Johannesburg’s Northern suburbs arsonist. 

Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello identified Novans as a suspect in multiple cases of arson, murder, and burglary and urged the public to come forward with any information that will track him down.

He was seen in footage in and around homes that had been cat burgled and, or, set alight.

The arsonist is believed to have been targeting homes in upmarket suburbs since at least 2020 and has allegedly been responsible for setting at least 20 buildings alight.

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He is believed to work alone and enters upmarket homes in the early hours of the morning, targeting elderly homeowners.

The arsonist spends time in the kitchen, eating and drinking and has even been bold enough to cook food for himself. Once done he sets fire to mattresses or blankets using an accelerant.

A close up of the man suspected to be the Johannes

A close up of the man suspected to be the Johannesburg northern suburbs arsonist.


The fires have been started around 04:00 in every case. 

Sello said Novans served a previous prison sentence of seven years of which four years were suspended for five years.

In the beginning, the arsonist would start fires in homes when the homeowners were away. But of late the arsonist has been setting fires in homes with the owners present. 

The arsonist has targeted homes in Craighall, Illovo, Hyde Park, Dunkeld, Bryanston, Houghton, and this week a home in Melrose.

Fidelity ADT CEO Wahl Bartmann has offered a R100 000 award for information that leads to the capture of the suspect.

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