Cape Town – A Sea Point Good Samaritan who ignored opposition from some residents to feed homeless people during the national lockdown is stunned after his car was set alight in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Peter Wagenaar believes the torching of his Mini Cooper was an escalation of the backlash he had been receiving from the community.

“We feed homeless people and there are a handful of people not happy with it and they have rallied (other) people. Two Fridays ago, the police asked me for my permit. We had a valid permit in place and then last night at about 3:40 (am) I saw my car was set alight and was burnt to the ground,” Wagenaar said.

Wagenaar said over the last few weeks he had received complaints from residents who opposed him feeding the homeless.

“I believe it is someone that is so toxic that wants to deter me. I am at peace. We have 200-300 supporters. There are a handful of people that have been rallying against us,” he said.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed the incident, and said a case of malicious damage to property have been opened for investigation with no arrests so far.

A resident in Sea Point has been left baffled as to why his car was set alight in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

Member of the provincial legislature Brett Herron said that “there were some in the Atlantic Seaboard community who were not happy with the decision or the fact that the feeding scheme was lawful”.

“Last night his car was petrol bombed. This is shocking. It appears some people believe the law doesn’t apply to them… I have alerted the South African police.

“This is vigilantism and the people who are responsible need to be prosecuted. The law is the law and it applies to all, no exception,” Herron said.

Ward councillor Nicola Jowell condemned the attack, “I’m shocked and appalled and I hope the police will follow through with this. A number have been unhappy and some have welcomed his efforts. But the matter remains the person responsible for this must face the might of the law.”


By Marvin Charles