Neighbours at each other’s throats over boundaries

By Jade McClune

HARSH words were spoken and the threat of imminent violence hung in the air as stones were thrown in anger yesterday at Tutaleni township in Kuisebmond at Walvis Bay after two neighbours living along Leepela Street confronted each other with allegations of infringing on each other’s property.

An activist in the area which borders on the sandy plain to the north of Kuisebmond reported that the confusion over the boundaries of various erven in the area has become a common and recurring problem, as the boundaries are apparently not clearly marked and do not correspond to the layout of erven on the map of the township.

A member of the Tutaleni residents committee, who also serves on Walvis Bay Municipality’s housing group said they had previously raised the problem with municipal officials at Kuisebmond with a view to addressing and correcting the problem before someone gets hurt, but nothing had been done to attend to their complaints.

She said she was called from her house at around 08h00 on Tuesday to attend to a heated dispute between a man and woman who live as neighbours along Leepela Street, where an argument over the boundaries of their respective erven had escalated to the extent that the neighbours were shouting and throwing stones at each other. She was worried that such disputes could lead to worse confrontations.

Linda Pampin said she had lived at the house in question on Lipella Street for some 21 years, but lately her neighbours wanted to expand their house, but she complained that they were doing it in such a way that the new extension of the neighbour’s house would obstruct the entrance to her home.

“You would not even be able to carry a TV through the narrow area left open in front of our house,” she said and therefore objected that her neighbours were allowed to continue with their building plans. She said the police were there twice yesterday during the altercation but did not intervene.

After several attempts by the affected residents to reach them on Tuesday morning failed, municipal officials intervened late that day to assess the situation but reportedly said they could not do much unless the residents fork out N$2,800 for them to be able to reset the boundary pens, but the residents – most of whom are unemployed or work in the informal market – said they simply cannot afford it.

To add to the housing shortage in the poorest areas of the harbour town, Tutaleni was also the scene of a devastating fire on Saturday which broken out at around 14h00 in one of the shacks at Erf 1801 Amethyst Crescent Street and soon engulfed other shacks built behind houses on the same street.

According the police, 18 shacks on three properties burned to the ground, while the main houses were only partially damaged. At Erf 1802 the main house was damaged by the fire and the shacks left unscathed. Fortunately, nobody was injured in fire on Saturday afternoon, the police said, but the blaze left 18 households without shelter. The cause of the fire is still unknown.