‘Gang’ house menace

The problem house in Angus Way, Westridge.

Westridge residents have had enough of a dilapidated house in Angus Way which is also allegedly a haven for anti-social behaviour.

The community wants it to be declared a problem building and for it to eventually be restored.

The owner of the home no longer lives there and the Plainsman was unable to contact them.

Paul Lucas, member of the Duneside Block Watch, said the house was in a poor condition.

“There is absolutely nothing in the house, the doors are not attached properly to the hinges. The community came together and was prepared to assist the homeowner. Arrangements were made for the homeowner to move back into the house. Gang members hang out there and do as they please. We had a letter from SAPS saying we could remove those who did not belong in the house. We later withdrew from this when we saw it was unsafe for us to do so.”

Bonita Wood, chairperson of the Merino Block Watch, said the house should rather be used by the community and those protecting the area.

“A month ago, the block watch headed to the house in Angus Way when a shooting happened. We went inside the house to inspect what is happening and we could see the house is not a home.”

Fearful neighbours say the house is used by criminals as a thoroughfare and hideout.

“Parents of the community are worried about their children and their families. You can’t make any noise when they are stealing things from your house. Living in fear of your life is not a nice thing when you experience this on a regular basis,” said one resident who was too scared to have their name published.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south and Ward 78 councillor, said the homeowner was in two minds about moving back.

He said that would have helped with the anti-social activities, including the use of drugs and gangsters living on the premises.

“The Problem Buildings Unit will go back and serve notice again. The building inspectors will investigate if there are any problems on the building infrastructure. The mental health department needs to assess if there are any issues there. We will wait on the feedback from those departments before proceeding at this stage. There is strong support to have the property closed down. What will happen at some stage if there is strong support, (and costs outstanding) there is a possibility of the property being auctioned off because it’s (in a poor condition) .”

Captain Ian Williams, spokesperson for Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, confirmed that the house was a problem and that criminal activities did take place there.

“Investigations and search warrants will continuously be carried out,” he said.