Our “Bloody Police Are Bloody Marvelous” – Old Lady Praises Metro Police For Rallying South Africans To Fix Her Collapsing Home


Irrespective of the many unpleasant happenings we battle with everyday in the country, a good number of South African citizens are good people with good hearts, and wouldn’t hesitate to help out whenever it’s necessary they do so. Just like the South Africans who gathered to fix an old lady’s collapsing home for free.

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This good deed started when Doris Ryan, an 84-year-old pensioner called the police to report a housebreaking. Responding to the call in Malvern, Durban about four weeks ago, Inspector Victor Botha and his partner from the metro police dog unit were taken aback to find the old lady and her caregiver Phumelele Majozi, 57, living in wretchedness.

Botha related that the old lady who needed a walking stick to move around couldn’t describe the suspects, as she was unable to see them because she couldn’t lift her head. All she saw was their shadows, and her shout for them to get out got the burglars fleeing before the officers arrived.

But then, what the officers witnessed as stated in News24, unfolded a chain of events which touched Ryan and her community in the most unexpected way. According to the officers, the grass was overgrown, the roots of the trees around have cracked up the walls of building, and the roof was collapsing.

Wondering why an old lady, who ought to be better cared for is living almost alone in such a dilapidated place, Inspector Botha said

 “In the 22 years I have been an officer, I have never been touched by a case like this one…It broke my heart and I told her I would try and assist. She told me she had lived there for 40 years, had no children and had never married.”

Botha then called Jeff Verity from the Burro Community Assistance group. They commenced “The Doris Project” as the old lady and her caregiver moved-in with Chrissie Steyn who is a relative of Botha. While the Burro Community Assistance group were working on the house that had fallen into ruin, Verity posted details of Ryan’s story on social sites which got an overwhelming response from South Africans on Facebook and Whatsapp. 

Among other things, The Living Clean company showed up and cleaned the house, The Queensburgh Islamic Society came, tidied up and beautified the garden, Dezzo Roofing offered to supply the materials for the roof to be repaired, a pest control company will be coming to make their own contribution, and some other guys offered to paint the house for free.

As local residents have been coming over to fix a thing or another in the house, the home is currently being roofed and is expected to be ready for the old lady to move back in come January.

When Ryan was asked how she felt about the kindness of all the people who have rallied to fix her home, the old lady said she is excited she’ll be moving back to her new home soon, and joked that “it’s taking awfully long” time.

“People say that the police are a bloody nuisance, but I say that the bloody police are bloody marvelous.” she chipped in.

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