An elderly couple realised the risks involved in lending money after their blankets were burned by a loan shark they owed money in Ekuthulweni Informal Settlement, African Reporter reports.
Last week Thursday, an angry mashonisa (loan shark) burned all their blankets, allegedly because the couple could not afford to pay him back his R100.
Gogo Sophy Hlombane, 60, together with her husband, Abel Thukwane, say they borrowed the money from the mashonisa and promised to pay him back on payday.
“When we went to collect our pension there was a problem with the Sassa card, and we were advised to come back the following day.
“We tried to explain to the mashonisa our challenges in paying him back, but he didn’t want to hear reason.
“He forced his way into the shack, and took all our blankets and burned them.”
Hlombane said they tried to plead with him, but he said we should not make our problems his problems – all he wants is his money.
“My husband received his grant on that day, but it was too late, [the] mashonisa had already burnt our blankets,” she adds.
PR councillor Muzi Ngada says he was heartbroken when he found the elderly couple sleeping in their shack using jackets as blankets in the cold weather.
“We approached the local contractors who offered to buy three blankets for the couple on the day.
“Another contractor also bought them more blankets and we appreciate their support.
“We have assisted the couple to open a case of malicious damage to property at the KwaThema Police Station.
“We are hoping the suspect will be arrested soon because we cannot afford to have people who harass the elders within the community,” he says.
KwaThema SAPS spokesperson Captain Thabo Sibuyi is urging residents to refrain from taking loans from informal loan sharks.
“Loan sharks do not follow the right procedures to collect money from their clients and often threaten their safety.
“We are calling on residents to report any criminal activities to the police,” he says.