A Goodwood man feels like he has a target on his back and has had very little sleep since mid-June.
The man, who doesn’t want to be named as he fears for his life, lives behind two houses, 68 and 70, in Milton Road across from Goodwood Sports Ground.
He says the houses have been plundered of everything, from geysers and window frames to doors, flooring and wiring since they became vacant at the end of May.
He says in June he was sweeping his verge when he saw a man leaving the corner house through a hole in the fence. The man was carrying a rucksack, a red bag and a a cardboard box.
After approaching the intruder, he called Goodwood Armed Patrols who then called the police.
They did not arrest the man, saying there was insufficient evidence as no one saw the suspect enter the property empty-handed.
The resident said the man had been seen leaving the property with a box and bag full of electrical cable and copper pipes.
Since then he believes he has been victimised by having people shouting outside his home and torches shone through his windows between 10:30pm and 3am.
He fears the derelict houses will become a magnet for homeless people seeking shelter.
When Northern News visited the houses last week, there was loud banging coming from inside.
Two men were removing what looked like a window frame. Having been caught in the act, they left with their loot.
According to Andre van Rhyn, the executor of the estate of the late Gerhardus Malherbe, who died on August 8 2018, both properties were sold to one buyer who would take transfer this week (Monday November 18).
“The buyer intends demolishing both houses, consolidating the properties and then building flats for residential purposes. The properties were inhabited by the deceased and his brother and the latter’s daughter,” said Mr Van Rhyn.
According to Goodwood police spokesman Captain Wayne Theunis, they have no record of complaints or criminal cases linked to the houses for the past three months. He added that police patrolled the area regularly.
Dirk van der Berg, of Goodwood Armed Patrols, said they had had a contract with the previous owner to patrol the premises.
“The premises are vandalised almost daily and in a very bad state. On more than one occasion, our team apprehended suspects at the premises for theft and damaging of property and handed them over to SAPS who can only arrest if the owner opens a case docket to secure a conviction at court.
We have no contract with the the new owner. We cannot legally just go into any premises without permission,” said Mr Van der Berg.
The City’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said the City’s Problem Building Unit was liaising with the executor of the estate. Mr Bosman said the sale of the properties would be concluded once the paperwork from the Master of the High Court had been finalised.
Faizel Petersen, chairman of Goodwood Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, said problem properties were a blight on the community. Many residents had been selling their homes because they no longer felt comfortable living in Goodwood.
“We urgently need interventions to regain the confidence of ratepayers, as we cannot have our area further deteriorating by not stepping in as soon as a problem appears,” said Mr Petersen.
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