Vandals target old Lotus River clinic

The old Lotus River Clinic continues to be vandalised while the City of Cape Town says the structure will eventually be demolished.

Leslie Isaacs, manager for Lotus River Youth Club, which is based at the premises, said the clinic is being carried away bit by bit.

“The City of Cape Town had ended the contract with securities to guard this place and word went around the community that there are no more securities keeping an eye,” said Mr Isaacs.

In the past it had been reported that even the security guards had been robbed of their belongings, cellphones and bicycles.

A group of women have planted a fruit and vegetable garden in the yard, with the help of children from the community.

Mr Isaacs tells the Southern Mail that at least 12 doors were carried off the premises at one stage, the roof is slowly being taken apart, copper and aluminium have been stolen, as well as fencing and paving bricks, leaving no more parking bays.

“I have reported this to SAPS Grassy Park but there was no action taken at all. I have requested that they send out vans to patrol to ensure the safety of the security guards, the women who use the facility and also the youth who give a helping hand. On July 11, SAPS came here, sounded their sirens and drove off and nothing was done and this is the way the clinic looks now,” said Mr Isaacs.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral committee member for area south, Eddie Andrews, said: “On July 12, guards on duty found community members vandalising and stripping the clinic.

“The guards were threatened and one guard was stabbed. Those on site threatened that they would return with more community or gang members and at that time, the guards were then removed from the site for their own safety. The City is now in the process of having the remaining structure demolished.”

Constable Carol Strauss from Grassy Park SAPS said: I can confirm that while doing vehicle patrols in that area to combat crime, SAPS members were not informed of people removing property.

The premises belong to the City and they must take ownership of that property by tasking the law enforcement to do guard duties on the premises.

Police have a responsibility to prevent and investigate reported crimes. If crime is not reported there is nothing we can do.

Therefore, the police are requesting assistance from the community not to be afraid to report crime, even anonymous callers will be assisted.”