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Eradicate drug lords, or else

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Community members staged a march yesterday in protest against the high rate of drug abuse and crime in the area. Picture: Supplied

Noupoort residents pointed out that the community is ridden with crime as a result of drug abuse.

RESIDENTS handed over memorandums at the local police station and the Umsobomvu Local Municipality in Noupoort on Thursday, calling for intervention to “eradicate” drug lords and drug dealers plaguing the community.

The convener of the Noupoort NC Community, Michelle van Wyngaard, said that the community is ridden with crime as a result of drug abuse.

“We are experiencing a lot of house break-ins, cable theft and vandalism of personal and state-owned property that is spurred on by drug use, where a prolific market is created for the sale of stolen goods,” said Van Wyngaard.

The community added that they wanted permission from the local council to remove drug lords from the houses that they were occupying.

“Drug dens must be closed immediately for an uninterrupted period of three months to allow the police the platform to do their jobs properly.

“If the authorities do not deal with these matters decisively, it would be very detrimental if we should take matters into our own hands.

“The police must present a transparent monitoring plan to eradicate the dealing of drugs.

“The SAPS should be actively involved in awareness campaigns at school level to educate our learners about the repercussions of substance abuse.

“All shops owned by foreigners must be visited regularly and searched to ensure that they are not busy with atrocities that can harm our children.”

The community believed that an independent investigation needed to be conducted into the “reluctance and delays” when it came to the arrest and conviction of drug lords.

“Too often police vans are seen at suspected drug dens but no charges and arrests are made, which leads to mistrust between the community and police officers.

“The poor utilisation of manpower during night shifts, as well as the poor visibility of police in the community due to vehicle shortages, must also be investigated.

“The community is giving the local SAPS team three months to improve service delivery – failing which we will request the removal of certain incompetent public servants.”

They also called on the Umsobomvu Municipality to repair damaged infrastructure that has been turned into “hot spots” for criminal activities.

“The municipality must assist with youth unemployment, create sustainable jobs for the community and facilitate the employment of locals to offer security at all government facilities.

“Councillors should meet with the community at least every two months so that issues of concern can be raised and resolved.

“The mayor should work hand-in-hand with the Noupoort community to address social ills.”

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