Baseball club at wits’ end

Athlone Athletics Baseball Club executive member, Warren Munshon, left, and club chairman Tony Alexander.
Athlone Athletics Baseball Club executive member, Warren Munshon, left, and club chairman Tony Alexander.
Athlone Athletics Baseball Club executive member Warren Munshon.

The City’s Recreation and Parks Department says it is aware of the recent spate of vandalism and theft at Vangate Sports complex.

Responding to our story published last week (“Brazen criminals pitch curveball” Athlone News, Wednesday June 9), mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien said the department has suffered great losses due to theft, arson and vandalism of community facilities, which impacts on service delivery and access to facilities.

Members of Athlone Athletics Baseball Club are at their wits’ end following a series of targeted attacks which first surfaced at the height of lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic in June 2020.

Since then, the vandalism has been on-going, some as recent as a week ago, said club executive Warren Mashon.

In a statement issued by the City, it noted that reported incidents of vandalism and theft in the past three months include an attempted break-in where the security gate was damaged in March, a broken-down door in May and a stolen quad bike a week ago and which was later recovered,” said Badroodien.

“We have taken precautionary measures by having night security officers on duty as well as mid-day staff to facilitate the facility during the day,” he said.

“We are also currently negotiating with the neighbourhood watch to take up space at the facility to ensure that the gap between the night security officers and the mid-day staff arriving at the facility is filled to avoid any sort of vandalism or theft at the facility,” Badroodien said.

He encouraged all residents to report incidents of general vandalism and or theft as soon as possible, so that corrective action can be taken. This can be reported to the South African Police Service or the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.

Meanwhile, Athlone Saps spokesperson Sergeant Zita Norman said that the police are aware of the matter and that more patrols are being done in the area in the evenings and during the day.