A military family lost their belongings in a fire a year ago. Picture: Supplied
Cape Town - A struggling Cape Town family has been waiting for almost a year for the SANDF to fix their flat after a fire destroyed it.

The flat and belongings at Castle Court in Zonnebloem were destroyed after an electrical fault caused the blaze.

They were living at the flat because Staff Sergeant Andries Japhta works for the military and accommodation is one of the perks of his job. He has served in the defence force for almost 30 years.

Japhta has since had to move out of the flat, even though a monthly rental is still deducted from his salary.

His daughter Lucretia Japhta has decided to speak out against the military to “make a tragedy that happened to myself and my family known to the world”. The SANDF has said it was still making “efforts in trying to solve the matter”.

Lucretia said the fire occurred on January 13 last year when she was home alone with her children.

Firefighters from the Roeland Street depot apparently arrived, but military personnel failed to “arrive at the scene of the fire to report the incident”.

A military family lost their belongings in a fire a year ago. Picture: Supplied

“This experience made me lose all respect for the army,” she said.

“I’ve been the daughter of a soldier for 25 years and lived on military bases all my life. I believe that my father’s job is to protect our country, but my question is, who protects him?

“Who protects him when there is a fire in the place that he created and made his home?”

Lucretia said her family had requested an alternative place to stay at a military base.

“No one came forward since the fire to provide us with alternative accommodation. There was accommodation available in the complex and nothing was offered to my father.

“We were just promised that the flat would be fixed, but nobody was worried where we all would stay. It was just empty promises that the flat would be fixed.

“The fire was not his fault but no temporary accommodation was provided and there was no remuneration for the loss of all our valuables.

“My whole family now stays with my grandma. We are 16 people living together. The rent for our military flat is still deducted from his salary every month.”

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said it was “aware of the incident in question”.

“The member who was occupying the house is aware of the SANDF’s efforts in trying to solve the matter,” he said.


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Cape Argus