Organisation’s bakkie stolen

Ralph and Sebastian Haricombe, founders of HOPE, have been raising funds for school shoes since 2012.

The work of a Manenberg organisation has been hampered after its vehicle was stolen.

The vehicle, a white Opel Corsa bakkie, branded with the acronym of the organisation’s name, HOPE (Helping Others Prosper Everywhere) was stolen just after 4am on Sunday March 28.

Sebastian Haricombe, 30, co-founded HOPE in 2012 with his father, Ralph Haricombe, 62. They raise funds for school shoes and distribute it to schools across Cape Town. More than 20 schools are partnering with the organisation, and thousands of underprivileged children have already benefited from this project.

Sebastian said they park the bakkie at a neighbour’s yard in Thames Avenue in Manenberg, as they do not have parking available where he lives.

“At the moment, the work of the organisation is standing still. I already received calls from Atlantis, asking us when we can deliver, but unfortunately we can’t get to them now,” he said.

The stolen bakkie.

The neighbour’s CCTV footage shows that three unidentified men stole the bakkie.

“I saw the gate was open when I went to our neighbours on that Sunday morning. The bakkie was also gone. Initially I thought my father had used the bakkie to go to church, but when I went to check on the bakkie’s keys, I saw that I have both keys with me. Just a few weeks before this incident, someone also stole the bakkie’s wipers. I am so disappointed,” Sebastian said.

He added that the bakkie had been donated to the organisation a few years ago. He also explained that in order to sustain the organisation, and because of lockdown regulations, HOPE also offered personal delivery services for people buying school shoes. As much as they would like to get the bakkie back, he said, that might never happen. In the meantime, they have already embarked on a campaign to raise funds for another second-hand vehicle.

Manenberg spokesperson, Captain Ian Bennett, confirmed that a case of theft of a motor vehicle was opened. No arrests were made.

If you can assist, or would like to donate to the campaign, contact Sebastian at 071 098 6787.