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Monday Sep 10, 2012

Council to probe Rossburgh 'house of horrors'

Property owners in the Rossburgh area are delighted at the council decision to launch a comprehensive investigation into the running of a private home turned boarding house there.

An allegedly illegal business is run by Marcus van Rensburg, owner of an extensive property at 14 Rockcliffe Road.

The property is peppered with wooden "Wendy House" type shacks, ships' containers and caravans. Tenants are mostly down on their luck, and pay a daily rate for rooms. Complainants allege that the children of prostitutes who live at the address are neglected, that health regulations and other by-laws have been ignored, and that drugs are sold by tenants.

CityWatch has received congratulations from the chairman of the Bellair Community Policing Forum, Peter Govender. He is also chair of the Chatsworth Cluster Community Policing Forum and a member of the KZN Provincial Police Board.

"I have lived in Rockcliffe Road since 1994, when the house at number 14 was used by the Pax preschool," Govender wrote. "When the facility eventually closed its doors I started hearing a lot of complaints about prostitution and substance abuse at the address. Most of the prostitutes live there and ply their trade at the corner of Rockcliffe and Sarnia roads. They take clients to one of three B&Bs in the area that offer hourly rates.

"If we can close the establishment we would see a definite reduction in crime in the area. SAPS Bellair has ongoing violations in various criminal categories originating in that vicinity. A very big thank you to CityWatch for assisting the community in restoring peace and harmony in the Rossburgh/Sea View area."

According to a municipal spokesman, the investigation into the Rockcliffe Road property involves a series of interlinked council departments, including health, developmental planning and environmental management.

Abdul Domingo, manager of enforcement and prosecution, is overseeing the team, and the investigation is under way. Domingo told CityWatch it would receive the report as soon as it was concluded.

Sunday Tribune

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