The community silent march against drug abuse turned into an eviction of Nigerian nationals who were accused of hijacking the properties.
THE community silent march on Thursday against drug abuse, which started from the Galeshewe circle to the Galeshewe police station, turned into an eviction of Nigerian nationals who were accused of hijacking the properties.
The community refused to be intimidated by the rain storm which started right after a prayer session before the march.
The march was led by religious leaders, who handed a memorandum to the MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Sylvia Nomandla Bloem.
They accused foreign nationals of making a mockery of the South African democracy.
The march was aimed at breaking the silence and suffering caused by drugs and demanding that authorities do more to bring the matter under control.
They demanded that the Northern Cape Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, take the requests to parliament and request for the country’s Constitution to be amended. They want stricter laws and law enforcement, including the justice system to prosecute those specifically dealing in drugs and deport all illegal foreigners who are dealing in drugs.
They further demanded that borders have stricter laws preventing the apparent ’free for all entry’ into the country, including that of criminals and undocumented foreign nationals.
They demanded that Bloem prioritise the resourcing and staffing of all the police stations, especially the Kagisho and Roodepan stations in order to ensure the safety of the community.
The community supported the request by a property owner, who pleaded with the MEC for the police to escort her to evict a Nigerian whom she accused of having ’hijacked’ her property. They highlighted that they are tired and afraid of their tenant.
After a dialogue between the MEC, the Francis Baard District Commissioner Major General Johan Bean, and the community, a convoy was led to two properties where Nigerians were evicted.
Bean was trying to convince the community to give the police time to follow procedures of securing a search warrant to go and search the properties. The community accused the police of trying to play delay tactics, and headed to proceed with the evictions.
All the belongings were removed from a house in Ipopeng under police watch.
The owner of the first property accused the Nigerians of bullying them and turning their property into a drug den and a brothel.
She said the person staying inside the house does not pay anything, although the family agreed to take him as a tenant.
The tenant is accused of not even paying rates and taxes, and instead supplies her nephew with drugs. According to the owner, it is her late sister’s house and they have left it to their only son. She said more than one Nigerian stays in the house, which is now labelled as a ’nyaope house’.
“They bury drugs in the whole yard and the value of the property has dropped because of the addicts who steal everything including the cables. Young girls are being lured into the house.
“I had to replace the fence and do several repairs at my own cost after they knocked it down during their wild parties, and they still refuse to leave,” said the owner.
“We rented the house out a year ago, but it seems like the tenant is not the one staying here. We continue to see different people occupying the house every time. There is always a new ‘my brother.”
“The municipal bill is up to R150,000 already, which means the house utilities is deeply in arrears, and the house might be auctioned due to this”.
The tenant of the house was nowhere to be found after his belongings were thrown out.
The community moved to the second house where a Nigerian was staying with his South African fiancee and their children. Their belongings were also thrown out.
The woman accused the community of assaulting, manhandling her and men touching her inappropriately, saying that they are searching her for drugs. She said her children were traumatised by the incident, whereby she had to flee the scene.
According to her, this is the fourth time that she was intimidated by an angry mob since 2020.
She accused some of the individuals heading the campaigns of having hidden agendas.
“We have been moving from one property to the other but the mob continues to follow us. This is personal. I can positively identify 3 people among the group who sell drugs. I can even take you to their houses. They are wolves in sheep skin,” said the woman.
The woman said she tried to open a case at the Kagisho police station but the police were not keen on helping her.
“The police instead told me to go and make a quotation on the damages suffered during the incident.”