Question of satanic rituals at ‘vagrant house’
Beacon Bay residents at wits end over abandoned property
Beacon Bay residents have been up in arms for more than a year over an abandoned house.
They feel the property, which is on the corner of Fairview Road and Fairview Place, is a threat to the neighbourhood.
At one point, residents even believed the house was being used for satanic rituals.
According to ward 28 councillor Marion Mackley, the first complaints regarding the abandoned property were received in August 2018, but she suspects it was empty long before that.
Ward 28 consists of Blue Bend, Bonza Bay, Beaconhurst and Beacon Bay North, where the abandoned home is situated, at 2 Fairview Road.
“Residents living in close proximity noticed the house had been vandalised and they reported that strange noises and activities were taking place.
“At first they thought the home was being used for satanic rituals because of the red paintings on the walls,” said Mackley, who has sent several e-mails to Buffalo City Municipality departments in an effort to resolve the issue.
She said after the first complaints, Beacon Bay SAPS inspected the premises and confirmed that the paintings and other evidence were not related to satanism.
“The police indicated that the premises were possibly being used by teenagers and vagrants as a hangout and drinking spot over the weekends. After that, vagrants just started to move in and the complaints escalated,” said Mackley.
Fairview Road resident Donovan Compaan said the home had been empty since as early as January last year and residents were very concerned.
“My neighbour, who lives right next door to that house, has had his home broken into twice. We suspect the man who hangs around Quenera Drive begging for money, and others have been using the place as a shelter,” said Compaan, who lives directly opposite the abandoned property.
“We’ve called the police to remove him from the building a few times and Red Alert (security) have also been involved. The dogs around the neighbourhood often go crazy because there’s movement in that house, especially at night.”
Mackley said attempts to contact the owner of the house had been made, but to no avail. She said documentation left at the property had been retrieved by police and indicated that the owner was in arrears with their BCM accounts.
Fairview Place resident Antoinette Bruce-Alexander said the fire brigade was called once to put out a fire at the premises, which they believed was started by vagrants.
“I think all the neighbours around that house are quite fed up,” said Bruce-Alexander, who lives down the road from the abandoned building.
Dieter Rewitzky, team leader for Beacon Bay North Community Patrol Association (CPA), said all the patrollers were aware of the house and it was one of their focus points.
“It’s a huge problem and a lot of residents are fearful, especially late at night. We make sure to patrol the area as often as we can,” said Rewitzky.
According to Rewitzky and Mackley, this is not the only abandoned premise that has caused problems in the area over the years.
“There’s a house on Quenera Drive that has been empty since the road was completed and that is also a point of concern and is constantly used by vagrants,” said Rewitzky.
Mackley said two other properties, one in Lark Crescent and the other in Edge Road in Beacon Bay, had also stirred up complaints by residents.
“It’s definitely not a new or rare phenomenon,” said Mackley.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the municipality’s building inspectorate unit was responsible for building control.
“The unit has also tried to contact and locate the owner, but with no luck and has therefore taken a legal route to resolve the matter.
“Our unit has prepared a notice to serve the owner with. Our finance and legal department work jointly to take the issue to court so it [the property] can be sold. It will then be property in possession.”..