Hostile car guards an issue in town

2019-01-16 06:02
PHOTO: byrone athmanCar guards wait outside the Department of Home Affairs offices in Church Street.

PHOTO: byrone athmanCar guards wait outside the Department of Home Affairs offices in Church Street.

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DONNA Anthony was left fearing for her life last Friday when a visit to the Department of Home Affairs offices in Church Street to acquire an identity document for her son left her feeling scared and intimidated after a very hostile interaction with a car guard.

“As soon as we found a parking spot I noticed that there was a man wearing an orange vest waiting behind the car. Once I got out, he demanded I pay him R10 for guarding my car,” said Anthony.

Anthony said she had not encountered such a hostile car guard before and asked why she had to pay R10 upfront to the man, who then told her that the parking spot she had parked in was his and that he was not going to wait for her to come back and therefore wanted the money upfront.

“He then threatened to slash my tyres if I did not pay but as it was late, and I had minimal time to get into the line at Home Affairs, I ignored him and went to wait in the line,” said Anthony.

After finishing up at Home Affairs it was dark outside and Anthony noticed that the car guard was waiting near where she had parked and that there was a glass bottle behind her tyre.

Fearful for her safety, she said that she then waited for her son’s friends whom she had met in the line at Home Affairs, to walk her to her car.

“I was very scared and thought the car guard was going to harass me again.

“I do not understand how they can get away with this because I saw him earlier while waiting in the line, doing the same thing to other people,” said Anthony.

Anthony questioned why people are allowed to don an orange vest and act as a car guard.

When the Maritzburg Fever spoke to a few car guards they said that they charge people R10 an hour to park their cars where they man the bays.

“If you park for one hour then it is R10, then R20 for two hours and so on,” said a car guard who wished to remain anonymous.

Police in the area said that they are aware of the problem with the car guards in the Church Street area and that they have been doing routine stops there to ensure the safety of the people who frequent the area.

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