DURBAN - A 72-year-old Seaview resident said she is “lucky to be alive” after a man she believes was high on whoonga entered her home with a bush knife last week and robbed her.
Maria Wenlock, also known as Liz, said she has been dealing with addicts stealing from her yard “too many times to mention” but nothing as “brazen” as this last incident.
She said she noticed that the dogs were agitated on Wednesday morning and later at around 1 pm she saw a man near her property.
“I let my security alert go but the foolish thing is, is that the security company usually comes out and it’s for nothing. So I told them I was fine and asked them not to come out. I told them I’d let them know if I needed them,” said Wenlock.
Wenlock said minutes later the dog started “complaining” and she saw something brown by the fence.
“I noticed it was the guy I saw earlier and he moved so fast, I had already got to the house but I have a lock where the key has to be turned twice and I had just turned the key once when he grabbed the key, opened the gate and began swearing at me,” she said.
The pensioner said the man was carrying a bush knife that was sharpened on both ends.
“He shoved me around to get to different places. He was so fast then he grabbed my bag and left.
Wenlock said there her bag contained her chronic medication, personal documents, R800 and a portable battery charger.
“These guys creep up to the bottom of our yard where there is a bush and they usually steal things from the yard but this is the first time one of them came into my home,” she said.
She added that she has been affected by these addicts “too many times to mention but they have never been so brazen.”
“I am so happy he did not kill me, he did not poke or strike me. I’m lucky to be alive. I am traumatised but I will get through this,” said Wenlock.
Wenlock said she was grateful to all the people who came to find out if she was okay.
“It was great to know that there are so many people out there, I don’t even know them but they care. It was lovely knowing that I stand alone,” she said.
Ward 64 councillor Gavin Hegter said the drug problem especially whoonga is Citywide.
“The problem we have in Seaview is that these whoonga addicts go around picking up scrap and pushing their wheely bins and they are opportunists. This guy saw an old lady and confronted her and unfortunately, they will do anything for that next fix,” said Hegter.
He said fortunately, the Seaview community are coming together with various WhatsApp groups to unite against crime.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a case of robbery is being investigated by Bellair SAPS.
Gwala said crime awareness campaigns are being conducted in the area to assist the community on how to safeguard their premises.
“We are working closely with the CPF and other external role players. Constant patrols and operations are conducted in the area to curb the criminal activities,” she said.