Vultures protected by the Law
A massive landslide destroys your home within seconds - mud and huge boulders smashing through your brick walls as if they're made of cardboard! You make it out just in time, with mud coming up behind as you run, and you lose your shoes in the mud and water!
The only section of your home that appears to be safe and not in danger of collapsing, is your garage, so you take shelter in your car. The rain is pelting down, and where the mudslide took place, a raging river of mud and water has formed. Part of the road which is in a cul-de-sac has collapsed, so no rescue vehicles can get to you.
You're sopping wet, shivering from cold, and the shock of what just happened has still not sunk in.
Your only hope of getting help is if residents from a housing complex next to your property come to your aid as none of those authorities in charge of rescue come out, despite frantic calls from your neighbours on the other side of the mudslide.
Your call for help eventually gets a couple of men from the area devising a plan to get you out safely, and you at least make it out in one piece.
At first, you're thankful to be alive.
Having lost a daughter two years before this devastating disaster, you feel your home is just something material that can be replaced.
You find shelter with friends, but eventually, have to move into a rental as your main income as semi-retirees is maths tuition, and you need to set up a classroom to resume lessons.
You feel hopeful once you lodge your insurance claim, even though you know very well that you will likely have to build something smaller, as insurance companies will never cover the full cost of any loss, but that's ok, as your girls have all fled the nest.
The insurer hastily appoints a company to clear all the mud and debris and dismantle sections that are in danger of collapsing, but obviously then realize the extent of the damage!
One bedroom, a bathroom, the kitchen, and the garage are still intact, but cupboards will need replacing.
Water and electricity infrastructure leading to your home was damaged.
Most of your memories have been destroyed, but in the days to follow, you manage to salvage some photograph albums and part of your book collection.
Living in a country where vultures soon start stripping unoccupied homes, you have 24-hour guarding for the first two months, but it becomes too costly.
Your fears become a reality and the thievery slowly begins.
It starts with copper waterpipes, then taps, and stainless steel sinks, aircon units, plug boxes, the electricity distribution board, door and window frames, burglar proofing, then all the electric wiring from your home!
The damage now is exacerbated as electrics and plumbing will also have to be replaced at a huge cost.
Your neighbours' and the gardener you share, spot guys walking down the road to a scrapyard close by.
The scrapyard owner, whose premises are now bursting at the seams with scrap metal, pleads innocence saying he doesn't buy stolen goods, but one of the thieves was photographed in full view of the said scrapyard, cutting up aluminium window frames and taking it there. When he recognizes your gardener, he drops everything and makes a run for it.
When you report the thefts to the police, they tell you they cannot go to the scrapyard to check, as it's your word against that of thieves, they need to catch the thieves red-handed in your property!!!
You're also told that you need to contact your local community police forum - these are residents who band together to try and eradicate crime! Further, you're told to only report the theft once everything has been stolen, and not go there to report small items.
These small items are being stolen daily and now amounts to a huge amount of property lost!!!
Unbelievable, but true that the police simply are not interested in fighting crime, and expect the community to do this!
I'm sure you're not surprised that I am angry as I'm writing this, as that is what's been happening to our friends.
Sadly the law is on the side of criminals.
There are many examples of that - one is that if an intruder enters your home with a weapon, you can only retaliate when they use that weapon against you. Should you injure the intruder while protecting your family or yourself, you will be held accountable!
I'm sure many of you have heard of the Act that protects the rights of Squatters, you may have something similar in your country?
This act protects tenants who stop paying rent or unlawful occupants who take possession of your home as you cannot get them to move out.
This happened to my late brother, and it was a battle to get his tenant out!
Squatting is now becoming big business in our country as syndicates move in, sometimes while you're at work or on holiday. They then find their own tenants and collect rent from them.
Should you try to remove these squatters, you can be arrested.
To do this legally, can take months or even longer as they now even appeal against a court order. This becomes even more costly!
To add insult to injury, you as the home-owner is still liable for electricity and water bills being run up by the squatters.
You obviously still have to pay the municipal rates and your housing bond, but now have to pay for a rental to house you and your family as well.
Should you not pay those bills, you can be prosecuted!
Our friends were told by the police that squatters have been moving into some of these storm-damaged homes, so that is another threat!
Am I angry today, yes I am!
Staying on the straight and narrow does not seem to be the right thing to do in a corrupt country such as ours, sad to say.
We have the most beautiful country, and when we go away on holiday to tourist destinations, it feels like one is in paradise, but sadly as one gets back into the suburbs, the vultures come out to play!
Here at home, we now have a neighbour on the other side who has been undertaking the most crazy building projects, one threatening the stability of the PC fence between us, as he's using it to retain soil which could push the fence over onto our pathway, or someone walking there, if the soil becomes saturated as happened to properties during the April storms!
Our little haven is being threatened, and just like our friends, we feel like selling and moving on, but where to?
Where our friends and family live, is way too cold in winter, but we may be forced to do that in order to keep our sanity, and live in peace and harmony when we decide to go into
A Silver Blogger in full retirement? I think not!
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