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Durban - “We are coming for you”. That was the message to drug lords operating in Wentworth, yesterday.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonyane Ngobeni and a host of politicians, including Safety and Security MEC Willies Mchunu, Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and officials from the city, descended on the south Durban community to launch an anti-drug campaign.
The initiative, which follows recent successes in Chatsworth, is aimed at weeding out drug lords and ridding the streets of illegal narcotics.
One of the aims of the campaign is to get communities to work with their local ward councillors, community activists and dedicated government officials to solve their problems.
Marching to the chants of “We say no to drugs”, the government officials led a march through Austerville Drive in Wentworth, snaking their way to the community hall where scores of people had gathered.
Community members welcomed the initiative.
There has been a spike in gang-related shootings and murders in recent weeks, which they believe were linked to the lucrative drug trade.
Mchunu said it was important for the community to the fight against crime and drugs, adding that they should not leave it solely in the hands of the government.
“If you don’t participate in the fight against crime, we will not win it,” Mchunu said.
“If you don’t join (in the fight), there is a chance that drug lords will continue to destroy our society. They are not just destroying Wentworth, they are destroying the whole of KZN… The problem of drugs is all over our province, it knows no colour, it knows no race and no sex, it just destroys and wreaks havoc in our community,” he said.
Ngobeni said that the drug lords’ days were numbered.
“It is time that you need to stand up and make sure that you are counted by coming forward and telling us who these drug lords are. They take the children to beautiful schools and live in beautiful houses while they are creating a mess, and we need to fight this scourge. We do not fear these criminals,” she said.
Myrtle Beaunoir, a resident who started the group called Citizens on Patrol, that consists of a group of 10 women who patrol the area around Wentworth High School and ensures that no children bunk school or are late, urged the community to get involved.
“Take your stocking off your head, take off your pyjamas and get on the street and make sure your children are going to school,” she said to wild applause.
“It takes a village to bring up a child, and I tell you Wentworth High School has the highest pass rate of any of the schools in Wentworth, because we ladies took our stockings and our pyjamas off and got onto the road,” Beaunoir said.
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