Historical landmark left to fall apart

LENNOXTON – Historical landmarks are more than fixtures. They are testament to a bygone era, moulded by our forefathers.

The Maharaj House situated on Boundary Road, Lennoxton, is a typical colonial Victorian building that was once the family home of Mac Maharaj, a founder member of the anti-apartheid movement. He was arrested in July 1964 and convicted of sabotage. He was imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela from 1965 to 1976.

Today, this house is private property, going to rack and ruin, and occupied by 10 people.

“We don’t have any electricity, but pay R300 a month each,” said one resident.

According to a source, the original owner rented the home to a tenant, who then subleased it. The home is now still being subleased.

Neighbours complain the current occupants are a thorn in the flesh.

“There are constant issues around the house,” said a neighbour who opted to remain anonymous.

He claimed the tenants were often involved in drunken brawls, and discard rubbish on the pavement.

“As far as I know, they don’t actually have running water, which is why I suspect they throw their waste out.”

Another resident claimed the residents stole water from a nearby water pipe, and that sewage often flowed out of pipes.

“It is disgusting, and despite people complaining to the municipality on a regular basis about the house, nothing is being done. It is a health hazard and we don’t know who is living here. With the stabbings that have taken place, it is unsafe and we are not getting answers.”

The municipality was contacted for comment, but none was forthcoming at the time of print.

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Quinton Boucher

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