Monday, September 27, 2010

No trespassing here, please

A friend of mine told me that in Scotland they don't have trespassing laws. I was rather surprized by that, but when I asked him what would happen when people do actually "invade your privacy or property", he said that they don't really do it over there. But that is Scotland and this is South Africa. We do have trespassing laws, and we do have trespassers. Many of them. The thing is in South Africa we are so worried about people's rights that we sometimes forget who we are protecting. Despite our trespassing laws trespassers sometimes have more rights than the owner of the property that they are trespassing on. Another problem is that when people trespass it is usually for the wrong reasons. OK, let me call it by name. To steal. So, we try to keep unwelcomed guest off our property by fencing off our properties, sometimes even using electrical fences and barbed wire. Some people invest in vicious canines (be careful, when your dog bites a burglar you might be held responsible in the end) or other dangerous animals like crocodiles (I have a good story about this one). A neighbour of mine kept poisonous snakes in his house (or at least that is what the sign in the window said). But many just use simple signs saying "This is Private Property, Trespassers will be Prosecuted". To keep a potential thief off your property this is as useless as saying "This is my house, please do not break in". I had to smile however when I saw the sign below on a property in Mossel Bay. I think everybody that has been to Mossel Bay knows where this little cottage next to the sea is situated, and everybody knows the real reason why this "prime" property has lost most of its value. It also has something to do with "unwelcomed guest". But I have to give him some credit for originality, even if only one trespasser falls for this warning sign then I guess it was worth the effort.


1 comment:

  1. Good one! On a different note I have seen people keeping chickens to manage their snail infestations - believe me - there are too many snails in Blaauwberg!