Durban - The home of a Chatsworth family who were evacuated and separated from each other because the recent heavy rains and flooding had left the dwelling uninhabitable, has been cleaned out by vagrants.
Silverglen resident Bernice Pillay said the nightmare began around 3am on April 12 when the substation in front of her home collapsed into her property, bringing with it the bank, retaining wall and her daughter’s flat.
“It was terrible,” Pillay said.
She said her daughter had cuts and tissue damage because she had to get herself and her dog out of the flat by climbing out of a small clearing and onto their VW Amarok which had landed on its roof.
“All four vehicles were written off, including a state vehicle.”
Pillay said the vehicles were a bakkie, VW T-Cross, Toyota Etios and VW Amarok (state vehicle).
“When my husband heard blocks falling, he saw the Etios flying,” Pillay said.
She said it took days to dig the car (Etios) out as it was pushed against one of the bedroom windows.
“My daughter said it was like watching a movie and yes, it was a scene from a movie.”
“There’s glass and mud inside the main house,” continued Pillay.
Living on the property, in the main house, were mom, dad and youngest daughter. Living in the flat was the eldest daughter and there was also another family that was renting but they were unaffected.
She said according to the engineer, the main house was not safe to live in and it required a structural evaluation. They might only be able to move back in December.
She said her family was now separated. She and her husband were living with her mother, her youngest daughter was living with a friend and her eldest daughter was leasing a house in Seaview.
“We don’t have a vehicle, no home to go to. Whatever was left in there, the thieves stole,” Pillay said.
She said the thieves had broken into the main house on April 18.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said the complainant alleged that on April 18, 2022, at 12.45am, “unknown people broke into his premises at Silverglen Road in Bayview and stole jewellery, clothes, appliances and groceries”.
“Charges of theft and housebreaking were opened in Bayview police station for investigation.”
Pillay said: “They were smoking in the house. There were cigarette butts everywhere and they changed their dirty, smelly clothes and shoes and changed into my husband’s clothes.”
“What hurts the most is that they burnt my dad’s memorial candle. I am so upset because that had sentimental value. They also stole my dad’s ring which he had left for my little daughter.”
Pillay said the criminals went through every single cupboard.
“They cleaned us out completely. They only left the children’s toys.”
“They (thieves) then broke into the basement, through the window, and stole all my husband’s power tools, pots and groceries I had bought.
“They stole from my house and then sold it in the neighbourhood. Neighbours were telling me about items that were being sold,” Pillay said.
She said they also stole her daughter’s laptop, clothing and jewellery.
“What irritates me is that this happened after the floods. They stole everything, even masks,” Pillay said.
“They also stole the copper pipes, so there’s no water and electricity because of the substation.”
A family friend has started a donation fund to help the family rebuild.
Anyone wishing to help can contact Dillon Gangadu on 084 200 9577.