A GARCIA Flats couple are devastated after their motorbike, which is their only mode of transport, burnt to ashes outside their Garcia Flats home early on the morning of November 5.
The couple, Dianne and Gary Hoft, woke up to a commotion at 3.30am to find their bike on fire in the parking area.
Dianne, who has been living in the Buffalo City Metro-owned flats in Cambridge for 24 years, said the area had become more and more unsafe. Theft was on the increase and security measures were virtually non-existent.
When GO! & Express asked Dianne about the circumstances leading up to the incident, she expressed her suspicions.
“Around 7pm on Friday, a guy came around to my flat and wanted me to buy a cellphone from him. I told him that I don’t have the money to buy it, but he kept going on and on. He often comes to the flat and I try to help him by buying something when I can afford it. He wanted to force me to buy the phone and when I said, ‘no’ for the final time, he said: ‘We’ll see about that’ and I shut the door,” Dianne said.
Gary, suspects the man sells items to feed his drug addiction.
“It [bike] was our only means of transport! I was devastated when I saw the fire brigade. I was in tears. There was nothing we could do to stop it,” Dianne said.
Cambridge police spokesman, Mluleki Mbi, said a case had been opened and was under investigation.
“We want to open the eyes of BCM to the need for security. There are no fences behind which we can park our vehicles. There are no lights in the dingy stairways up to our flats. You can’t even hang your washing outside and it will be stolen. My husband has been mugged on the stairs,” Dianne said.
Gary said: “There was an attempt to steal my father’s bike in broad daylight last week. They steal tyres and batteries out of cars. What’s the use of spending all this money on transport when it gets stolen?
“We are paying our rent and we want to be safe. We send our complaints to the caretaker but nothing happens,” he said.
BCM had not commented at the time of going to print.