Guard escapes petrol attack

2017-07-03 14:05
Private security guard Michigan Mpety who managed to escape after being doused with petrol on Saturday morning. INSET: Michigan Mpety’s bicycle that was set alight during the attack on him.

Private security guard Michigan Mpety who managed to escape after being doused with petrol on Saturday morning. INSET: Michigan Mpety’s bicycle that was set alight during the attack on him. (Supplied)

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A private security guard managed to escape unscathed after he was attacked by an alleged brothel owner on Saturday morning.

The “pimp” allegedly poured petrol on Congolese national Michigan Mpety and threatened to set him alight for intimidating his customers.

Mpety, who patrols at the corner of Prince Alfred and Retief streets, was hired by residents in the area to chase away sex workers.

According to residents, the security guard, who patrols during the day, had received numerous threats from sex workers and alleged pimps who accused him of intimidating their customers. A resident who witnessed the incident said a man who stays at one of the alleged brothels operating as a bed and breakfast on Prince Alfred Street, approached Mpety and doused him with petrol.

“He threw the petrol at him, but the security guard managed to escape. This man then threw petrol on the guard’s bicycle and he burned it.

“He has received threats from them before, but we advised him not to retaliate.”

Irate residents said after numerous failed attempts to get the police to rid the area of rampant prostitution, and rising crime levels resulting in falling property values, they opted to take matters into their own hands and hired a private security guard.

“The issue of prostitution is a bad reflection and influence on our children and the business people operating in this area. This has been going on for years and as residents we have had enough. We have small children and there are schools in the area and this is just not acceptable.”

Area residents said prostitution in the area takes place from the bottom of Prince Alfred Street right up to the Shell petrol garage.

“We are even afraid to step out of our homes. At night it’s very noisy. You find vehicles driving up and down.

“Having family and friends visit is becoming embarrassing because these prostitutes are always standing on the street corners. We have children and this behaviour is worrisome.”

Another resident who has been living in the area for three years said the issue of prostitution has been an ongoing battle.

“We are fed up with prostitutes because it’s bringing the value of our houses down. We know that due to unemployment and the high cost of living people are resorting to all kinds of unethical means to put food on the table, but we are suffering.”

The chairperson of the Manor Neighbourhood Watch said prostitution in the area has been a very big issue.

“During the day they populate the Manor [sports] grounds and around 7 to 8 pm they stand in residential areas­. “We are saying if this is a business they must move out into a business area and not do it here in full view of our small children.”

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said no one has been arrested in connection with the complaints.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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