Three weeks after a car crashed into her home, causing major damage to it, Noziphiwo Ndlane, 70, still weeps as she recounts what happened on the day of the accident.
The elderly resident of Kuyasa in Khayelitsha said she and her grandsons, aged 17 and 18, had been asleep when the car crashed into her kitchen. Thankfully, she says, no one was injured.
She recalls waking up to a rumbling sound early on a Monday morning as the car smashed into her Joyce Madibeng Street home around 1am, breaking through the kitchen wall.
“I thought I was dreaming. I woke up and there was a big light,” she told Vukani.
The light she saw, was daylight streaming in as the wall gave way.
“I saw was water all over the place from the kitchen. Remember I was in deda sleep so everything felt like a dream. I heard a boom. It took me some minutes to see a car rammed on the wall.“
While the occupants ran away, they returned later to fetch another who had been left in the car, asleep.
“They all seemed drunk,” said Ms Ndlane.
When Vukani visited her on Tuesday, bricks were still scattered about and the house was boarded up with planks to keep out the wind and cold.
With the help of her neighbours, Ms Ndlane, said, they caught the culprits who promised to come back and build her house. That, however, has yet to happen.
“Firstly they admitted guilt. But later asked if I had insurance,” she said.
“I told them I am a pensioner; the only money I get is used to feed me and my grandsons. I was made to write an affidavit and send it to them. I did that. They only thing they managed to do to fit these planks. They are now nowhere to be seen. I need help to hold them accountable and (get them to) rebuild my house,” she said.
Ms Ndlane told Vukani things could have been so much worse had the accident happened while she was cooking in the kitchen. And while she escaped without injury, her stove, washing machine and cupboards have been destroyed – and she has no running water.
Her neighbour Sindiswa Qhankqayi said when she heard the noise, she thought it was a robbery.
“The damages to the house are so severe as you can see. That car remained there for some time. We wanted it to remain here until they built the house, but we let them leave because there were affidavits signed,” she said.
She too believes the occupants of the vehicle had been drunk.
Another resident, Thulani Dasa, said they were rallying support to get help for Ms Ndlane and to get her house rebuilt.
“If you look at this house it could collapse at any given time. I am told they promised to come back after 10 days but the 10 days is over now,” he said.