‘We are all really scared’

Orielle Berry

Nomaliso Peter wasn’t sure how she would get home last Tuesday afternoon (March 22) from the Blouberg area, following unrest in Dunoon.

Not her real name, as she doesn’t want her identity revealed for fear of retribution, Nomaliso has been living as a backyarder in Dunoon since 2002.

She has had her name on the waiting list for subsidised housing since 2005 but is still waiting.

She told Tabletalk on Saturday March 19, she saw a group of about 50 residents marching to the playground near the Sophakama Primary School and putting up shacks.

“I have been waiting for so long for a house, but these people just took the law into their own hands. They are very angry,” she said.

“The law enforcement and police came and took them (the shacks) down, but the residents crossed the road and started erecting them near Richwood,” she said, still shaken from seeing the crowd march so close to her shack.

She said she feels lucky as her small house cannot be seen from the road.

Also on Saturday, she stood terrified, rooted to the ground outside her home, as a group of protesters, bearing machetes and crowbars marched towards the home of ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni.

“I saw at least 100 people walk past my house with all sorts of weapons,” she said.

According to Nomaliso, the violence and tension continued throughout the weekend.

As she was trying to sleep on Monday night, “at least five gunshots” rang out near the home of the councillor.

“People are so vicious this time, I have never seen it like this. There is a lot of anger and resentment, “ she said.

She said the MyCiti bus stop in Dunoon was also damaged on Monday. Nomaliso said her adult son tried to leave their shack to fetch water at a nearby tap and came running home, as the gunshots rang out.

Now she said, she sits with the problem of trying to get to and from work.

“Yesterday (Monday) there was a problem getting in and out of Dunoon as they closed the Potsdam Road entrance and also the entrance from the N7.”

“I am going to phone the ladies that live near me and we will see if we can walk in to Dunoon as a group for safety or at least try to get a taxi to drop us nearby.

“But I am not sure. We are all really scared.”