Founder of Ladles of Love, Danny Diliberto, poses next to Peter Wagenaar’s torched Mini Cooper at the Sea Point promenade on Beach Road. Picture: Supplied
Founder of Ladles of Love, Danny Diliberto, poses next to Peter Wagenaar’s torched Mini Cooper at the Sea Point promenade on Beach Road. Picture: Supplied

Torched car of Sea Point Good Samaritan repainted and renamed 'Mini Meltdown'

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Nov 17, 2020

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Cape Town - A couple whose car was gutted in Sea Point early this year say they have learnt that when life throws you lemons, you must make lemonade.

Peter and Lesley Wagenaar’s Mini Cooper was torched early on May  6 in an alleged attempt to dissuade them from providing food to homeless people in their community.

However, on Sunday the Wagenaars unveiled the newly repainted and renamed “Mini Meltdown” car alongside members of the Gugulethu-Seaboard Can, Souper-Troopers, Streetscape and Ladles of Love, at a local community market held at the promenade.

Lesley said when the number of people they were feeding grew, a few of their neighbours became disgruntled and tried to stop them by getting police and law enforcement officers to arrest them.

“It escalated to parliamentary level and the provincial SAPS. But the police started to leave us alone because we now had a permit, and that didn’t sit well with them – and set our car on fire as their last resort. When that happened, we decided that we were not going to let it deter us and continued to feed people as usual.

“However, it was shocking because we do not understand how anybody could stoop to that level to get a message across,” she said.

Peter said that through the adversity they got to meet amazing people who showed them love and support, and within a short period the message of hate turned to love.

Alicia McFadzean from Cheeky Observer who adorned the burnt-out car with artwork said she wanted to create a composition that reflected the generosity of the Wagenaars, and their inspiring message that love always wins.

“When coming up with the idea for the visuals, we agreed that it would be great to incorporate a portrait of someone in the community who is also representative of this idea.

“Peter and Lesley do a lot of work with Streetscape, and through them we found Auntie Tietie, who was happy to be our muse and feature on the bonnet of the car,” said McFadzean.

Wagenaar said the car would now function as a mobile artwork, a medium for conflict resolution and a vehicle to raise funds for social welfare-enhancing projects.

Cape Argus

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