Tuesday 28 April 2015
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FISH entrails allegedly left behind by mongers are getting up the noses of others at Princess Vlei.

Robert “Gino” Johnson, a homeless man who lives at and looks after the vlei, says he has witnessed people dumping the fish guts.

“The people throwing the guts threaten me when I say to them they must not throw the fish guts at the vlei,” he says.

Quentin van Niekerk, one many people who use the vlei as a picnic area, says he is “disgusted”.

“This is not up to standard,” says Van Niekerk.

“The smell is not pleasant and these guts attract flies. We come here during summer and the smell is appalling in the heat.”

Chairperson of the Princess Vlei Forum, Philip Bam, inspected the area mid-morning on Wednesday.

Bam says dumping of the fish guts is “disrespectful” to other people who use the vlei for fishing and as a picnic area.

“Apart from the early drinkers I found a very upset Gino who showed me the dumping of entrails by fishmongers,” Bam tells People’s Post.

During a stop-over at the vlei, this reporter saw three separate areas where fish guts were dumped. The smell was awful, with flies buzzing about.

Johnson says he is worried about his four-year-old dog, Barberton.

“If Barberton eats the fish guts he will get sick,” says a concerned Johnson.

“Today it is hot and the smell is just terrible,” he says.

Bam believes he knows who the culprit is.

“We have an idea of the (responsible) individual. Once we have proven it is the individual we suspect, we will ask them not to dump the guts at the vlei. If they persist, we will have to get law enforcement to deal with him,” Bam says.

Johnson says he knowns which fishmongers are responsible for the illegal dumping of the guts.

“I think it is people from Retreat Road, because I have seen them selling fish in Retreat Road. I saw one of them dumping here,” he says.

People’s Post interviewed two fishmongers in Retreat Road on Saturday, but they would not be drawn on the issue.

Bam appeals to fishmongers to refrain from dumping in the area.

“It is such a shame that people don’t respect nature. I appeal to the fishmongers to please respect the area.”

He adds: “The people who use Princess Vlei for baptisms find the stench from the entrails sometimes dumped in the water as an affront. It impacts on their approach to the water which they regard as a holy place.”