Home Sport Vandalised: Galeshewe sports venue is being targeted again

Vandalised: Galeshewe sports venue is being targeted again

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The Sol Plaatje Local Football Association is at its wits end trying to find ways to secure the artificial turf premises from attacks by vandals.

Broken stone kerbing holds down part of the Galeshewe artificial turf where thieves had tried to rip up the expensive carpeting. Picture: Neville Motlhabakwe

The Sol Plaatje Local Football Association (LFA) is in a panic about the ongoing vandalism of the artificial turf grounds in Lang Street, Galeshewe, which has now seen the carefully laid playing surface being ripped up.

Seabata Makhele, LFA chairman, called the DFA this week in a state of agitation. He said the association was at its wits end trying to find ways to secure the artificial turf premises from attacks by these vandals.

Makhele said the association had already spent huge sums of money and presently they do not have to fix damages to the clubhouse building’s interior which was the target of vandals a while back.

About two years ago vandals had gained entry through one of the clubhouse’s unprotected windows. Once inside they damaged newly-installed water basins and taps in the ablution areas of both the change rooms.

They also ripped off huge sections of the brand new ceiling and broke many of the support trusses holding up the roof.

The vandals had also ripped wooden doors from their hinges and overall caused extensive damage to the boardroom furniture including several accessory fixtures inside the premises.

Makehele said members of the association had dug deep into their personal and family funds to get the premises fixed to an acceptable level, only to be confronted this week with the sight of the torn-up artificial turf on the main playing ground.

On Wednesday this week when the DFA inspected the premises: Inside the grounds several joggers could be seen running along the perimeter of the artificial surface, while a few boys were in small groups scattered around the premises engaged in one or other activity

 The poles visible here were ostensibly damage by rust. Picture: Neville Motlhabakwe. 

The only access gate on the western side of the grounds along Lang street was locked. But a huge gaping hole was visible on the northern end of the perimeter fence where several panels of the steel devil’s fork fence had been removed leaving only the fence stays.

This was clearly the illegal gateway the vandals used onto the premises.

Part of the Galeshewe artificial turf’s gaping perimeter fence on the northern side presumably vandalised to be sold to scrap metal dealers. Picture: Neville Motlhabakwe

Inside the grounds themselves at the nearer northside poles a number of boys were busy repackaging an assortment of recycled plastic bags which they rolled into balls.

They said they were going to kick the wrapped-up plastic bundles around in place of a real synthetic leather ball.

The boys, all too eager to brag with the assumed names of their football heroes – Olebogeng ‘Pele’ Kombe (12), Oratile ‘Ronaldo’ Moshweu (12), Kamogelo ‘Messi’ Manqele (10), Gontse ‘Khune’ Melakeco (11) and Buhle ‘Stakes’ Riet (8) – said tsotsis had previously gained entry to the clubhouse storeroom and had made off with the equipment, including a few synthetic soccer balls, stored inside.

However, these soccer enthusiasts were not deterred and were making their own balls so that they could take advantage of the unofficial school holiday.