It is by the grace of God that Ntoze Mbeki is still alive after a City of Cape Town Law Enforcement van carrying five officers including the driver crashed into his shack at Siyahlala informal settlement in Philippi last Friday.
The one-roomed shack was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt from scratch. The van sped off from the incident.
The 66-year-old, who lives alone in the shack, said the incident occurred just a few minutes after he had left home to go and buy bread around 4pm in the afternoon.
As he was coming back from the shop, he noticed a group of people around his house and thought maybe someone had been hit by a car.
But as he got closer he saw that his shack and all his belongings were completely destroyed.
He was told what had happened and he saw the van standing quite a distance from his house. He was told that the van was chasing an iphela taxi and the driver lost control of the vehicle.
‘’If I was inside, I would have died because that bakkie destroyed everything. I was at home for the whole day that Friday and had been procrastinating about going to the shop and eventually I forced myself to go, not knowing my timing of leaving the house was saving my life.
“Since the day of the incident, I had been seeking refuge at my ex wife’s place while getting help from neighbours to rebuild this shack. I only got back to my place today,” he said.
Mr Mbeki said people from City or Law enforcement visited him a day after the incident and promised to assist him to rebuild his shack and replace his belongings.
However, he said he has not heard from them and thanked his neighbours who rebuilt his shack so he could at least have a roof over his head.
He said his only source of income is his old age social security grant and he does not have other means to properly rebuild his shack.
He said he called the media hoping for help.
He said the primary job of Law Enforcement officers is to ensure that laws of the country and city are adhered to and yet they are not obeying the law in ensuring that his shack is properly fixed.
He said to them this might look like rubbish, but it’s a place he calls his home proudly because it is the only home he could afford to live in.
Spokesperson for City Law Enforcement, Wayne Dyason, said on Friday April 21, officers attached to the Leap programme in the Khayelitsha area, having concluded a vehicle checkpoint, were departing from the area when they became the target of stone throwing.
In the rushed attempt to flee through the restricted space and out of the area, Mr Dyason said the driver collided with an informal dwelling in Philippi.
Officers immediately notified the control room and reported the incident at the Khayelitsha police station.
The incident will be investigated and the City will be in contact with the owner of the dwelling.