Grandma outraged as ex-husband allegedly turns home into drug den

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published Jan 9, 2020

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Cape Town - A Mitchells Plain grandmother says her ex-husband, against whom she has opened 27 police cases including rape, is making her life hell as he is turning her home into a drug den and scrapyard.

On Wednesday, Law Enforcement was dispatched to the house in Real Madrid Street in Freedom Park, Tafelsig, after Mark Ward, 43, became riotous when the Daily Voice came to interview Charlene Tyson, 43.

Ward, who arrived with several men and armed with a spade, threatened violence, shouting: “Die is my huis, ek sal kom en doen wat ek wil (This is my house. I will come and do what I want to do).”

The Daily Voice contacted City Law Enforcement, who arrived and restored order.

Charlene, also known by her Muslim name Mariam, says because Mark is dismantling their home piece by piece, she is forced to live in a bedroom of the maisonette.

Charlene says Mark has been abusing her for nine years and the couple divorced last month after being married for 27 years.

They co-own the property which was built 14 years ago by Irish housing philanthropists, the Niall Mellon Project, who built over 400 homes in the community.

But Charlene says their home has become “unliveable” as Mark and his friends do drugs, and her two children and grandchild have moved to a hokkie in the backyard as they feel unsafe.

Charlene Tyson and her ex-husband Mark Ward co-own the house.
FEAR: Charlene Tyson has opened 27 police cases against her ex-husband.

The dilapidated house has dirty, broken windows, broken doors and furniture, and rubbish is strewn everywhere.

In her neat little bedroom, Charlene sleeps, washes and cooks for herself.

She says she has sought help from police, the community and the courts and while Mark is arrested each time, he is always granted bail or released on a warning.

“I have made cases against him for abuse and rape, I have 27 cases against him,” she says.

“But each time he just comes out of jail. I don’t know what to do anymore.

“I tried to get an interdict after he beat me up.”

She says the interdict against Mark turned out to be invalid as a clerk, and not a magistrate, did the paperwork.

“Look how I must live behind a locked door inside a bedroom. He vandalises this house and sells scrap and they come and use drugs here,” says Charlene.

She is now appealing for help to get the house on her name and kick Mark out.

“We both have new relationships, his girlfriend gave birth in this house and I helped them.

“This is a health hazard. This is also my home by law.”

Law Enforcement spokesman Inspector, Wayne Dyason, says they will be investigating the woman’s claims: “This is not City rental stock and accusations of criminal activity should therefore be referred to SAPS.

“Law Enforcement will however investigate allegations of an illegal scrapyard, and any other potential by-law transgressions.”

Daily Voice

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