Anger at squatter

Lwandile Krani has been squatting outside Table Bay Sports Complex since he was evicted from the premises in August.

Brooklyn residents are upset about a man squatting with his dogs in the parking lot of a local sports complex.

The City evicted Lwandile Krani and his family from a building at the Table Bay Sports Complex in Wemyss Street, in August, on the grounds that they had illegally occupied the premises (“Kicked to the curb with nowhere to go,” Tabletalk, August 28). The building was then bulldozed.

For the past three months, Mr Krani has occupied a few parking bays with his belongings and his dogs.

He sleeps in a makeshift shelter, and at least one other person has pitched a tent at the site.

Mr Krani is safeguarding the belongings, according to his wife, Dirmia Lukas.

Ms Lukas, who was pregnant at the time of the eviction, has since given birth and is temporarily living with her new-born and three other children at a friend’s house around the corner from the complex.

Patricia Buys, whose home is next to the complex, said she had empathy for Mr Krani’s situation, especially because small children were involved, but she feared Mr Krani’s presence in the parking lot would attract more people to squat there.

“There is already more people sleeping there with him,” said Ms Buys.

She said that since the eviction Mr Krani had started using the field as a toilet and she could smell it from her home.

“It’s very noisy. The dogs bark, and they play music. People used to park here but not anymore,” she said.

Another resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she felt unsafe when walking her daughter past the parking lot to the MyCiTi station.

“In the morning, they smoke (dagga) openly. They get rude,” said the woman.

Mr Buys also said Mr Krani had been aggressive to her children when they played in the parking lot and she no longer allowed them to play there.

Tabletalk went on two occasions to talk to Mr Krani but he was not in the parking lot.

Ms Lukas said the accusations against her husband were untrue, and he came to her house to use the toilet.

Mayco member for community services and health Dr Zahid Badroodien said the situation was “extremely difficult and complex”.

He added: “The City obtained an eviction order against Mr Krani to vacate the structure at the Bayview Sports Field in Brooklyn.

The City was under no obligation to provide alternative accommodation for Mr Krani and his family, but I engaged the local councillor to see if we could somehow assist him.

“To date, there have been numerous engagements that have included offering them accommodation in Wolwerivier and Philippi, as well as a housing kit,” he said.

Wolwerivier was the first option, as it was closer to the school that Mr Krani’s daughter was set to attend next year, said Dr Badroodien.

Ms Lukas said her daughter would be attending Buren High school in Brooklyn next year. The school is 30km away from Wolwerivier.

Ms Lukas said they were ready to go to Wolwerivier but wanted to return to Brooklyn as soon as accommodation was available.

Dr Badroodien said if there was no space in Wolwerivier Mr Krani and his family would be accommodated in Philippi.

“While the City understands the frustration of surrounding residents, we ask that they please remain patient as the matter is being dealt with,” said Dr Badroodien.