A resident in Portlands, Mitchell’s Plain fears his life after his property was nearly fire bombed on Friday morning. A garage door was set alight – an incident which the property owner believes to be the work of immigrants in the area that have threatened his property before.
Ridwaan Chalken owns a property in Michigan Way, Portlands, which he rents to a Pakistani national. A month ago, Chalken’s tenant asked him if he could open a house shop in the garage which he acceded.
“During the course of the construction of the shop, he (the tenant) received a threat from the Somalis in the area saying that “if you (tenant) open the shop then blood will flow,” Chalken explained.
“Yesterday morning, a week after opening the shop, a petrol bomb was thrown into the shop. Luckily, it didn’t explode and no one was injured.”
While Chalken did not want to speculate on who may behind the incident, said he was concerned as this incident occurred shortly after threats were received from Somali immigrants in the area.
“We do not know who the perpetrators are but all that we can relate it to is the threats that we received from the Somalis.”
Police was alerted to the petrol bomb being thrown into the shop yesterday, however nothing could be done.
“Yesterday, we called SAPS but they said that they could not make a case because nothing was burnt,” Chalken stated.
The attack occurred in the early hours of this morning when Chalken received a call from his tenant.
“He called me at 4am to tell me that the garage door was set alight and was subsequently burning,” Chalken explained.
“We called SAPS again and instead of opening up an arson charge, they said that they were going to open up an attempted burglary charge.”
“In addition to that, SAPS threatened to issue a fine for the shops license not being there, showing no sympathy,” Chalken went further.
Chalken stated that he had approached the Somalis that threatened his tenant, but they were unresponsive to his plea to end the violence.
“They (Somalis) were complaining about xenophobia but now they are acting against another foreign citizen,” Chalked said.
The tenant in this case is also an immigrant from Pakistan who Chalken says “is just trying to make a living” by doing legal business in the country. He refused to speak to VOC News.
“I’m hoping that people are cognisant of this and pressure will be put on them to stop this illegal activity of threatening people’s lives,” Chalken added finally.
By late Friday afternoon, police confirmed that a case of arson is now under investigation.
Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said: “No one has been arrested at this stage. We appeal to the community or anyone who have information that can assist with the investigation to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.” VOC (Umarah Hartley)