Image: Brandon van der mescht

The people of Eldorado Park, Noordgesig, Westbury and Benoni are fed up with the scourge of drugs and drug dealers which they say is damaging their communities.

The police, they say, are corrupt and are incapable of dealing with the problem.

Now they have enlisted the help of Cape Town-based Pagad (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) which is to lead a mass march against the “merchants of death” today.

Pagad was formed in 1996 on the Cape Flats to tackle gangsterism and drugs. Its members became known for taking the law into their own hands, believing the police were not doing enough to rid the areas of gangsters and drugs.

Today, about 1 000 people are expected to march on the homes of prominent drug dealers to hand over letters demanding they leave the area “or face the consequences”.

A community leader and director of the Community Care Foundation explained that the consequences would be a legal process to evict them.

“We are gathering signatures for a petition.

“We will approach the court through the organised crime act to have them evicted for being undesirables in the community. Many of these drug dealers live lavish lifestyles, we all see it, but they are unemployed.”

The campaign, which started with a public meeting in Actonville yesterday, will see nearly 1 000 people take part in a mass march from Noordgesig from 4pm today.

According to a statement by Pagad the aim of the campaign is to formally reintroduce Pagad to Gauteng, and to set the tone for all future action in the province.

“We would like to foster the participation of and dialogue between religious congregations, civil society organisations and academic communities, so as to create awareness and motivate commitment at the highest level for a sustainable solution to the drug-abuse and criminality problem that we are forced to endure daily .”

“These marches will not only be against the “merchants of death” but also against the police for their failure to clean up our areas, and their inability to deal with the corrupt elements in their midst.

“The time has come for communities to hold to the fire the feet of police management, as well as those of the political leadership – and in so doing to force them to be accountable to the communities that they serve,” the statement reads. -Saturday Star