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Blue tent in Vasco Estate causes stir

The sighting of a blue tent in Murray Street, Vasco Estate, has created much anxiety for residents as they say a homeless man who occupies the tent is continuously harassing them.

TygerBurger met with residents last week who shared their frustrations and indicated that they are at their wits’ end.

One of them, a 33-year-old woman, claims the man threatened her after she confronted him.

“This man has been harassing us for the past two to three months. He often squatted on this field, but was away for about two years. I was informed he was in jail. It seems now he has returned and continues to bother us. About three weeks ago he told me he’s going to kill me and my dog after I confronted him. I’m living in fear because I have a family. We even had to put up a gate in front of our home to secure the property.

“I’ve noticed that he also has a lady friend living with him in the tent. I’d often witness how he assaults her. They use the field as a toilet which is extremely unhygienic.”

A 63-year-old resident said she’s frustrated with his presence.

“Late at night I’d often hear fighting and the sound of bottles clinging. I’ve also seen how transactions are made in what appears to be drug smuggling,” the woman claims.

Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg said the residents should approach the police.

“If they are being harassed they should lay a charge at the police station. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re dealing with. Some homeless people are vulnerable, then there are those with criminal intent so we need to be careful who we approach.”

Janse van Rensburg also noted that her office has received a number of complaints about vagrants occupying the area.

“Indeed residents contact me to report complaints related to vagrancy. The number of complaints have not increased however the nature of the complaints are different in as it revolves around residents wanting to know why vagrants or street people are allowed to roam the streets whilst they (the residents), have to abide by the lockdown rules.

“The obvious reality is that vagrants or street people are on the streets in the first place because there are no places that they want to, or can, call ‘home’.”

Janse van Rensburg added that after liaising with the department of social development she was informed that the current number of vagrants in Goodwood stands at approximately 150.

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