Bruntville hostel residents relocated

2015-04-08 00:00

ABOUT 100 residents from the Bruntville hostel that was burnt down by the community at the weekend were relocated to the Bruntville Town Hall yesterday.

The residents, thought to be from outside the Mooi River area, were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs after Sunday’s incident.

According to Mooi River mayor Maureen Magubane, victims of the attack have all been settled at the town hall, and the province’s disaster management team, from the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), was called in to assist.

Magubane said temporary tents would be erected while an excavator tore down the remainder of the hostel.

“Some of the hostel dwellers went back to their homes in other parts of the province yesterday, while those who have applied for housing will be given homes once the housing association is done building them,” she said.

The hostel was torched after one of its residents was arrested for the murder of a Bruntville resident on Saturday.

The 19-year-old suspect appeared in the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court yesterday and was remanded in custody until next Tuesday, when he is expected to apply for bail.

Since the incident, Pietermaritzburg residents have launched an appeal for donations of clothes and non-perishables to support the victims of the attack.

Lissa Webb, of Polliwiggle Pre-School, said she put up an appeal on Facebook because her mother’s domestic worker was one of the victims and who had lost many possessions.

“I would like to appeal to everyone out there that these people need your help and, if you are able to assist in anyway, I will be taking items up to Mooi River on Thursday [tomorrow],” Webb said.

“I hope we can make a small difference in these people’s lives. To have such a little and to lose it, it’s just not right.”

One of the victims, Theresa Zuma, said she managed to “rescue” only a bed and cupboard before the mob tore through her home, looting her furniture.

Her daughters, aged 30 and 19, narrowly escaped the attack as the mob barged into her home.

“In my part of the hostel, they were not burning anything; they were looting. They broke into homes and they took whatever they liked, saying they do not want us in that area,” Zuma said.

She said she had no other home to go to now.

“I have lived in the hostel all my life. I got married and had children in the hostel; I have nowhere to go.”

• Those willing to make donations can make dropoffs at Polliwiggle Pre-School at 74 Geekie Road, ­Merrivale.


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