With Gallery: Crap storm over Esselen res




A SMELL of raw sewage tackles you the moment you step off the bus into Esselen street. On windy days, the sewage becomes airborne and sprays you with a misty combination of human urine and faeces . [pullquote align=”right”]“Last year someone from Florence building threw a plastic bag full of shit out their window and it landed in our laundry area”[/pullquote]

Complaints from students about the bad smell, stagnant sewage and uncollected waste piling up at Florence building next door to Esselen residence, spilled over this week as some Witsies living there vented their frustration on twitter.

Dion Mkhonza ran a hand across his face as he relived his experience of the strange rains.

Strange rains

“You come off the bus and this water hits your face. You think it’s rain first but then you see that pipe and it’s spraying sewage from that building,” Mkhonza said pointing at the dilapidated Florence building separated from Esselen residence only by a filthy alleyway swimming with rubbish and ankle deep with sewage.

Not only does human excrement rain from the skies, it also flies in through windows.

“Last year someone from Florence building threw a plastic bag full of shit out their window and it landed in our laundry area. “Ne nkare ho shweli motho (It was like somebody had died),” said a resident, who asked not to be named.

Peeping Toms

The student also said that on Monday, a man was staring at her through the window as she came out of the shower.

Another student, Manda-Lee Debathe, 4th  year B.Ed, said the same thing had happened to her. [pullquote]“In that building anyone arrives and says they are boss,”[/pullquote]

“When we are dressing in the morning there are guys standing at their balconies with their coffee watching,” Debathe said.

Accommodation officer in charge of Esselen, Elsie Mooke, confirmed that residents of the adjoining Florence building, formerly a private hospital before being converted into residential apartments, often threw out rubbish, bath water and excrement from their windows and into Esselen.

“It’s really dirty and it’s really affecting the area. Wits has sent the environment people here but it didn’t help…Students can’t open their windows because of the terrible smell and the mosquitoes, and they can only get fresh air from the passage,” Mooke said.

Owner gone AWOL

Mooke said attempts to deal with the problem had hit a wall because no one knows who the owner of the building is.

Together with another Esselen resident and house committee member, Kelobogile Sebopelo, Mooke described the fears they had in dealing with anyone from the Florence building.

“Last year they came looking for me and I acted like I didn’t know anything.” he reported.

“In that building anyone arrives and says they are boss,” Mooke said, warning this Wits Vuvuzela journalist to be careful and not to attempt to enter the Florence building.

Sebopelo told a more troubling story.

“There was a guy. Wits was trying to buy the building but then the guy was stabbed over there,” Sebopelo said, pointing beyond her 2nd floor window to the intersection adjacent to Constitutional Hill.

Accommodation officer Mooke was reluctant to speak about the stabbing incident, preferring to point out the good things about Esselen rather than the bad.

“There is warmth inside here,” she said.

Mkhonza, in his third year as an Esselen resident and a member of the house committee, said they had been promised many times that Esselen would be closed down and moved to Parktown but the promise had not materialised.

Place to call home

The education student was adamant, however, that all was not flying faeces at Esselen.

“When I moved here in first year I thought it would be bad until you see other people.

“It is the people who live here that keep you here, not the building,” Mkhonza said.

Esselen grinds Girton

Esselen Trumps: Esselen goes for gold against Girton House

Esselen Trumps: Esselen goes for gold against Girton House

THE ESSELEN netball team’s fast-placed play proved too much for rivals Girton House, leaving them victorious 20-12 after their Tuesday match at Dig Field. The fast paced match left Girton struggling to keep up as Esselen dominated the first three quarters with a solid goal shooting team.Esselen members Palesa Choma and Nomfundo Koloi worked well together and used every opportunity to score goals. Their defence was also solid and managed to keep the Girton shooters at bay.

Goalkeeper Mpho Mokoena was a force to be reckoned with in the Girton shooting circle, often retrieving the ball before Girton could score.

Girton felt the pressure and were sloppy with their passes, often losing balls they should have used to their advantage. After a stern talking to from the coach, Girton’s defence appeared stronger in the third quarter. This kept Esselen on their toes with Girton goalkeeper Kwezi Katamzi becoming a formidable foe for Esselen goalshooter Nomfundo Koloi. While their defence was on point, Girton still had difficulty driving the game forward towards their goals.

The last quarter of the game intensified as both teams made efforts to win the match. Girton gave it their all and matched the Esselen pace. They made solid advances to their goal posts, scoring a couple of goals and giving Esselen a run for their money.As the pressure mounted Esselen started to panic and become careless with their passes. However, this they found their feet again, kept their defence strong and eventually came out victorious.

The Esselen and Girton match wereone of several played this week in the Wits internal netball league. Other teams that came out on top include Wits Junction with a 20-12 victory over Reith and Jubilee with a 27-8 victory over Barnato.

Mavoda suffered a crushing 2-43 defeat against Medics, the 2012 champions.

Braamfontein Centre and David Webster played a smooth game that left David Webster victorious 19-12. The match between Sunnyside and Medhurst was postponed.

The next round of the league continues on April 14 at 6pm on West Campus at the Dig Field.