Search on for local heritage site vandals

2015-01-07 00:00

THE search is on for Chanelle, Spike, Shalin and Justin, who sprayed their names onto a wall at World’s View lookout.

Incensed locals took to sharing photos of the vandalism on Facebook community groups, which in turn alerted the World’s View Conservancy.

World’s View Conservancy vice-chairperson Pat Wilkinson said she was disgusted at the disregard for a provincial heritage site and insisted the act would not go unpunished.

“I laid a complaint of criminal vandalism with the Hilton SAPS last week, which will mean that these culprits will be treated with the full force of the law if they are caught.

“This type of action is a slap in our faces and I for one will not tolerate it; nor will the greater Hilton community,” she said.

Wilkinson said the conservancy staff worked hard to keep the heritage site clean, and although people often dumped rubbish near the site, the graffiti was the last straw.

“I am sorry it is an eyesore, but it needs to stay for a while; in fact, until the culprits are apprehended and they themselves have cleaned it off, preferably with a toothbrush.

“We try very hard to maintain this lookout; picking up litter left by careless visitors, cleaning toilets, eradicating alien flora and trying to restore our grassland back to how nature intended it to be,” she said.

Pietermaritzburg tourism director Dumisani Mhlongo said he thought the motive behind the vandalism was not malicious.

“It was costly fun for them, considering that it has destroyed the authenticity of this important tourism attraction known appropriately as the Jewel in Pietermaritzburg’s crown.”

Mhlongo added that his department had done a lot in terms of tourism awareness programmes, highlighting the importance of the ownership and preservation of tourist attractions.

“Maybe we need to do more.”

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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