Crossroads family left in the dark

PHIRI CAWE

In Unathi, Crossroads, there is just one house which does not have electricity.

In this house live members of the Menziwa family who say they’ve been in darkness for the past four months, after a “feared neighbour” allegedly disconnected their electricity supply and re-routed it to her home.

Now the Menziwas rely on electricity connections from a neighbour’s house to power their lights and oven so that they can cook their meals – and Nomathuba Menziwa is accusing the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement unit and Eskom of not taking her complaints seriously.

“This is pure abuse. We have been without electricity since December 16, last year. We have also been threatened that our water would be cut off. We have approached the authorities but nothing has been done,” said the frustrated Ms Menziwa.

She said police did not provide help when Eskom workers once came but were chased away by the neighbour.

Tired of living in darkness and relying on the “good neighbour”, she said they have turned to the media for help.

“I have been sent from pillar to post and vice versa. I have done everything in my power to solve the matter. My family have done all they could, but nothing has happened. We have been to Nyanga police station, but nothing.” She said they also went to Khayelitsha police station.

Her sister Nombeko Menziwa added: “The less said about Nyanga police the better. My sister went there herself, but they refused to open a case for her,” she said.

Nyanga police spokesperson Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi, however, denied the claims, inviting the family to come forward with the names of the police who had refused to open the case.

When Vukani contacted the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement unit, they said they had intervened in the matter.

Superintendent Wayne Mark Fredericks said the matter of intimidation between the two neighbours had been dealt with.

He said the spat between the neighbours stemmed from a complaint dating back to 2010, that Nomathuba Menziwa’s bedroom encroached on her neighbour’s property. He said the neighbour then alleged that Ms Menziwa had contacted the police, claiming that she was a murderer and drug smuggler.

At the time, said Superintendent Fredericks, Metro police had patrolled and visited the complainant’s property “both during the day and night while they removed the partial building from the property”.

Of Ms Menziwa’s complaint about the electricity connection, he said: “Members advised the complainant that Metro police radio control centre informed the electricity department regarding the matter,” he said.

Bulelwa Ncobo, from Eskom’s corporate affairs division, said technicians had visited the house to get more information about the matter and were planning to work on it.

She added that they would provide Vukani with feedback. Efforts to get hold of the neighbour were futile.