Durban - Flood victims allegedly stormed a boardroom at the Yellowwood Park Civic Hall this week and ‘looted’ relief aid that had been donated for all those affected by last month’s floods.
Ward 64 councillor Gavin Hegter said in a statement posted on Facebook that when he arrived at the boardroom at his office at the hall on Tuesday, where 150 displaced victims of the April floods are being housed, he found a group of them ‘looting’ aid.
Hegter said his assistant and volunteers were sorting through donations for distribution at the time of the incident.
“Today (Tuesday) my office assistant and our volunteers were busy sorting out donated clothing for distribution when a group of the people from the hall stormed into my boardroom and started looting the clothing,” he said.
Hegter said his assistant was traumatised and called him to report the incident. He said he rushed over to his office and called the SAPS while en route.
“On arrival I found a large group looting,” he said.
He added that the police had requested that his assistant go and get the name of the male resident who instigated the ‘looting’, but she was assaulted by one of the male residents.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala confirmed that charges of theft and assault were opened at Montclair police station for investigation.
“It is alleged by the complainant that on May 17, at 4pm, she was on Pelican Drive in Yellowwood Park hall unpacking clothes donated to the flood victims. An unknown man pushed her away and told people in the hall to take clothes as they pleased,” said Gwala.
Hegter said as donations started dwindling a month after the floods, people living at the hall had started making demands.
“The outpouring of support from our community and further afield has been amazing. Unfortunately as donations have dwindled, because people should be getting on with their lives, some have started demanding. The donations received were, however, not only for the group at the hall but also for residents of Ward 64 and surrounding areas who were also affected by the floods,” he said.
He thanked the Community Policing Forum, Sector Policing Forum and other community members who came out to assist.