Neighbours protecting one another



"I may feel safe, but does my fiancée?"
These are the words of Alex Botham, whose home was nearly broken into on a quiet afternoon of Good Friday, last week. Botham resides in the Westdene area in Bloemfontein, where he lives together with his fiancée. Following the incident, Botham expressed mixed emotions, saying while he is immensely grateful to his neighbour, Tinus van Tonder, who played a heroic role in preventing a possible break-in at his home, he can’t shake off the obstinate feeling of uncertainty about his safety.
"I would describe Tinus as a hero. His actions were extraordinary. However, I now live in constant fear for not only my life, but my fiancée’s. Especially because the burglar made a threating statement at the police station, indicating that he knows where I live and that he would be back," he said.
According to Botham, this would’ve been the third break-in at their home in just a year. His biggest concern is that his fiancée was at home during two of the incidents.
Recollecting details of the incidents, Botham retold the story to Courant.
"Tinus spotted a burglar trying to make way into my home. What stands out about the incident is Tinus’s bravery to risk his life by chasing the man down the street until he was caught and handed over to the police. This is an extraordinary act that you don’t find in society anymore," he said.
Botham indicated that he was still waiting for the police to collect more evidence at the place and proceed with the case. He said he’d also like to know if the three house break-ins were committed by the same person.
In addition he added that although security alarms are installed at his home, he remains unsure about continuing to live in the area.