MURDER, robbery, dangerous vagrants, illegal dumping and uncontrollable pests are just some of the problems that Shirley Maharaj has come to face in her recent years of staying in Dookran Road, Lotusville. Fed up and frustrated with the lack of service she has received from her various complaints to the local and regional councillor, Maharaj said that she credits all these issues to the open field that she lives next to. “I have continuously asked the councillor if he can get someone to drop the bank in this field and fence this area off properly but to date nothing has been done,” said Maharaj. She said the only solution the councillor has come up with is to set up meetings.Maharaj stated that the bank in the field is from constant dumping of rubble and litter, which is now being used as an escape route or hiding spot for thieves and a home for large rats and snakes. “I remember a year ago my daughter was robbed at knife point by two men on payday. My neighbours have had a house-breaking once every week for three weeks in the last year. After they’ve robbed us they run into the field where they can hide or escape,” said Maharaj, adding that visitors are afraid to come to her house in the evenings. Maharaj said once she had heard screaming in the field and when the police eventually showed up they found a mother with her son who had been murdered in the field for R10. Reminiscing about the field next to her house, stating that it was once a lovely park where she and her family would spend time, Maharaj said it had now become a rodent and snake infested, dump ridden safe haven for criminals and drug users. “We have rats that look like cats roaming in our yard and coming into our house as well snakes that make it over my low wall and into my yard,” said a visibly frustrated Maharaj. She said she has not been able to sell her home because people know that the area is notorious for theft and muggings. “I am not saying that if they bring down the bank and place a wall up in the field that all our problems will be gone, but it will be a step in the right direction,” she said.Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha responded to Maritzburg Fever’s queries stating that the site would be visited to conduct further investigations and the matter would be addressed accordingly.