Vagrants take over

2017-12-07 13:45
Mayors Walk resident Anesh Lutchman points at the abandoned building on Mayors Walk that has been infiltrated by vagrants.

Mayors Walk resident Anesh Lutchman points at the abandoned building on Mayors Walk that has been infiltrated by vagrants. (Nompilo Kunene)

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A Mayors Walk resident has raised concerns about an abandoned building across the road from his home that is now occupied by vagrants.

There is confusion about ownership of the vacant building, with Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha suggesting it currently falls under the control of the premier’s office.

However, the spokesperson for the office of the premier, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, has denied it belongs to the department, and Mafumbatha said late on Wednesday she will have to make further inquiries about the ownership and will revert to The Witness on Thursday.

Anesh Lutchman said two months ago the former occupants had vacated the building and it is now occupied by vagrants. He said he suspects the vagrants had moved into the area from the Ematsheni Beer Hall, which was demolished by the City earlier this year.

“The vagrants are tearing the building apart, stripping all the metal window and door frames and selling it off at the metal scrap yard,” he said.

Lutchman said multiple groups of vagrants have, for the past two months, stayed in the building.

“They make noise all night and when I see some of them they stare you down trying to intimidate you as if they are daring you to try something,” said Lutchman.

The Witness visited the abandoned building earlier this week and saw that the barbed wire on the palisade fences had been stripped off in some areas.

Lutchman pointed out a hole in the fence that the vagrants were using to gain access onto the property.

The building was empty and the doors, windows and burglar gates were missing and some lying in the passage way.

Lutchman said on Sunday when he was at work his wife called him to tell him that the vagrants were in their yard.

“She was in the shower when she heard movements outside and saw some vagrants at the backyard and another was in the front yard.”

He said the trespassers left without taking anything.

“It’s really scary because we as residents are now in danger in our own homes and once they are done with this building they will move onto our properties like they have already started doing,” said Lutchman. He said he had reported the matter to the municipality and to the police but nothing has been done.

“We are tired. If the municipality cannot ensure that this stops, they must rather demolish this building like they did at Ematsheni.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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