DECEITFUL BEGGARS ON THE STREETS
By: Ayanda Dube
Giving money to beggars on the streets is a problem for some motorists, saying that the money might be used to buy drug substances.
Thembisa Dlamini, a motorist said that a beggar once pretended to be sick. He said that he lost his bus fare, and that made her feel sorry for that beggar.
“He told me he had got discharged from the hospital and he didn’t have money to go home. I felt sad and gave him (money),” said Dlamini.
Dlamini added that beggars go to various places to make people notice them. But it happened that he bumped to the same guy who lied to her at another shopping centre.
“I saw him again in Isipingo on another day still begging for money. People around told me that it’s what he usually told people when he asks for money. I was so amazed at the amount
of creativity just to rip people off,” added Dlamini.
Nothando Sikhakhane, a pedestrian said that it’s easy for some beggars to rob you if are a pedestrian because they start by asking for money and if you refuse, they become aggressive
and want to attack you.
“I used to give them money if I had it until they swore at me when I didn’t have it.
The guy wanted to rob me but fortunately I didn’t have my anything with me,” said Sikhakhane.
A beggar by the name of Sparks, said that he doesn’t beg at the robots. He added that what people are saying about beggars is not true since it’s not all of them who rob people or lie
when begging for money.
“The money that I make from begging provides me and my siblings. With the little that I get I make sure we don’t go to bed with empty stomachs,” Spark said.
He added that he left school after his mother died because there was no one who was going to look after them at his home. He said that he wished to go back to school but there was no one
willing to help him.
Metro Police Officer Sibusiso Steadtler, said that what the beggars do at the streets is against the law.
He said that they arrest them if they’re reported. “Usually the complainants don’t pitch in court to testify against them, so they get released.
“This is a continuous thing because these people (beggars) are everywhere.
Once they realise that the police are chasing their backs they change a spot,” said Steadtler.
Steadtler added that what they usually find from them is that they have nothing to eat and the money that they get from begging helps them in many ways.
“The problem is that we can’t really tell between the ones who are thieves and those who aren’t because they all beg but have different intentions. We take them to home shelters, but
they escape,” Steadtler said.