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Drug scourge claims brothers

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A Roodepan family is mourning the loss of young brothers who lost their lives apparently as a result of the scourge of drugs in the area.

A ROODEPAN family is mourning the loss of young brothers who lost their lives apparently as a result of the scourge of drugs in the area.

The brothers, Riedwan and Linten Smith, were both known drug users who dropped out of school at a young age.

According to the brothers’ aunt, Anna Mofokeng, her brother (the young men’s father) phoned her on Sunday night, shortly before 9pm, and told her that there was a problem and she should come.

Mofokeng said that on her way to her brother’s house, she saw the ambulance standing on the corner.

“The emergency medical services (EMS) personnel were standing around him and I was informed that Riedwan had passed away,” said Mofokeng yesterday.

“Then we got the news that Linten, who was at home at the time, had also died. The EMS personnel confirmed that he had also passed away.”

It is believed that Linten, who had tuberculosis and was ill at home, died after hearing the news of his brother’s death.

“The two brothers were very close to each other,” Mofokeng said.

The family stated that both young men had left school at an early age and become involved in drugs.

“They smoked pills and tik,” they said.

According to the family, many of the young people in the neighbourhood are addicted to drugs.

“The brothers both had TB, but Linten was doing well at one stage and then he started using drugs again and became sick.”

The family stated that an autopsy would be performed to confirm the cause of death. “We heard though that it was from the drugs that he had been smoking.

“Drugs are a big problem here. I don’t know what is going on,” Mofokeng, supported by a neighbour, Lilian Drude, stated tearfully.

Drude added that the brothers had grown up in front of her and were like her own children. “We have lived here for years already and the children were always in and out of the house. They used to call me ‘Ouma’.”

The parents, Lizzie and Ali Smith, have two older sons, as well as a daughter.

“The one son, who also has TB, booked himself into the hospital last week.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba confirmed that the Roodepan police are investigating an inquest into the death of 22-year-old Riedwan Smith.

“On Sunday, at about 10pm, police were contacted about a man that collapsed at the corner of Neptune Street in Roodepan. An autopsy will be performed to detect the exact cause of death. The investigation continues. Anyone with information can call Detective Sergeant Calvin Koope on 078 940 0120.”

Ramatseba said that the deceased’s “30-year-old brother passed away at their home in Roodepan on the same day”.

“No foul play is suspected at this stage,” he said.