Historic hotel vandalised daily

2019-05-22 06:01
Photo: Lulama Zenzile

Photo: Lulama Zenzile

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THE historic King Edward Hotel in Port Elizabeth, which was renovated three years ago at a cost of millions of rands, has become the home of vagrants and criminals, who strip the hotel of its contents on a daily basis.

This hotel, which is more than 100 years old and was closed in December last year after Sheikh Khalaf Ahmed Khalaf al Otaiba of the United Arab Emirates purchased it in 2012.

The hotel was closed for four years while the renovation was taking place.

The once glamorous hotel has now become an eyesore, with homeless people settling in there. Antiques, paintings, expensive furniture, taps, geysers, bedding, telephones and television sets are being stolen from the hotel daily.

Residents in the area allege that prostitutes render their services in some of the 104 empty rooms.

The vandalism spiralled out of control after the security guards at the hotel withdrew from the premises for fear of their safety.

David Annendale, a concerned resident, last week summoned Humewood police officers to the scene for the umpteenth time.

When Die Burger, sister publication of the PE Express, arrived there on Thursday, the foyer, reception area, dining room and bedrooms were in a terrible state.

Anyone can open the front door and walk in because the lock and the chain were broken off. People sleeping in the hotel also broke open windows and doors to access the hotel. Garbage is scattered everywhere and all the rooms have been vandalised.

Annendale says it is sad to see people are stealing from the the hotel while nothing is being done about it. “I’m on the lookout. Firefighters came recently to put out a fire at the hotel.

“I don’t know what will happen to this place. The whole area is unsafe because the hotel has now become a nest for criminals.

“I sat on Tuesday night, watching people take all the geysers. The water was flowing everywhere.”

A resident who doesn’t want to be named, said that she fears for her safety every time she comes home from work and needs to walk past the hotel.

Read more on page 4

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