Pretoria – There is a R20 000 bounty on the heads of whoever pelted the luxury Silver Lakes home of members of the Brazilian Corps Diplomatique in South Africa with eggs over the weekend.
Landlord and senior Pretoria advocate Francois Botes is hot under the collar following the antics of what is thought to be that of some bored and naughty children on the estate.
He said Paula and Vini Gomes – who are living in the house with their minor child – were a lovely family and did not deserve what was done to them.
Botes is in fact so angry that he promised a reward of R20 000 for anyone who comes forward with information which will identify the culprits.
He also laid a charge at the Boschkop police station of damage to property.
It seemed as if the culprits aimed for a huge artwork standing in front of the Oakmont property – a rare and expensive Anton Smit sculpture.
Pictures taken of the egg damage to the sculpture indicate that the culprits aimed at its nether regions. Egg splashes and empty shells were found at the feet of the sculpture.
The Gomes family did not want to speak to the media, but Paula reported to the Silver Lakes homeowners association and security that she and her husband heard a very loud thud in the early hours of Saturday morning.
They walked around inside the house, trying to find the source of the noise.
Paula reported that while looking around, her husband heard a group of young people laughing.
She and her husband decided to take a look outside, and realised that the culprits had pelted their front door and the sculpture with raw eggs.
She said there was a huge mess of egg splattering all over, but by the time they went outside, the culprits had gone.
An irate Botes said the Gomes couple and their minor daughter were tenants and their safety was not negotiable.
He said this incident was evident that “ill-disciplined brats” were running around in the complex.
“Who in their right mind will intentionally and deliberately damage an extremely valuable work of art such as the renowned Anton Smit sculpture?” he said.
Botes said he was, to say the least, disgusted and horrified to witness acts of malicious damage to another’s valuable property.
“To throw eggs at someone else’s property is tantamount to an act of terrorism. The Gomes family have every reason to be upset, disappointed and concerned.”
Botes made it clear that he would not tolerate “this deliberate criminal conduct” and therefore he decided to offer a reward for the arrest and successful prosecution of the perpetrators.
He is also considering removing the sculpture to somewhere where it will be safe.
The matter was reported by the family and by Botes to the estate management and security. They acknowledged that this behaviour was unacceptable and said they would do everything within their power to find the culprits.
Management told the parties that they had no idea who did this, but were investigating the matter.
Botes said he was happy with the way in which they were dealing with the issue.