Owner of Queenstown Gas and Paraffin, Reggie Naicker, blames foreign nationals for allegedly torching his 2005 VW Polo Classic in a fire which, he said, almost cost him his life as the blaze spread to the house on Sunday.
Naicker said he was shocked to be woken up by a neighbour between 2.30 and 3am at his house in Scanlen Street.
“My neighbour woke me to say something was burning in my yard. The house was full of smoke and the car was on fire. My neighbour brought a hosepipe while the another one, contacted the fire brigade. I am really grateful to them for helping me,” he said.
However, he found his electronic gate open, which he believed the foreign nationals had forced to gain access to the yard.
“I last drove the car on Saturday evening when I came back from church at about 7pm. I locked the car and everything was fine.”
Although the fire brigade arrived quickly, they were not able to save his car.
At the time of the incident he was alone with his cat, which had to be taken to the vet on Sunday as it had been affected by smoke.
His reason for suspecting foreign nationals comes after the containers they illegedly occupied illegally were removed from Scanlen Street by the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) last week.
“They believe I was behind the removal of their containers. Meanwhile it was the municipality because they were occupying the space illegally. They believe I orchestrated the whole thing because I have a shop near them,”
It was reported (The Rep, August 14, “Demolitions going ahead”), that residents were furious as EMLM had acted against ongoing land invasions.
“The police and forensic detectives came to my house at around 4am and declared the fire as arson. I have since opened a case against the suspects.
“My car exploded. I have had it for more than 15 years. It was insured but can never be replaced.”
Police spokesperson Capt Namhla Mdleleni said: “The police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property, no arrests were made.”