"The fight against the people who sell drugs in our communities – and who use children to sell them to other children – is a battle that can only be won if we all stand together and fight it on all fronts," Maimane told those who marched with him to the Phoenix police station.
"And by 'all' I mean parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. I mean teachers and principals, preachers and social workers. I mean politicians, police officers and doctors."
Maimane urged residents to help police in their quest to arrest and prosecute drug dealers.
"Nothing destroys the life of a child like the effects of drug addiction. Nothing steals their youth faster than growing up in a culture of drug abuse, violence and gangsterism."
"Some of you have already lost children to these dangers. Many more of you are watching helplessly as your boys and girls are targeted by these predators who bring these things into your community." Maimane went on to criticise government for its slow reestablishment of a specialised drug unit.
"What we finally got, a year after President Zuma promised to re-introduce such a unit in his 2016 SONA speech, was 40 people sitting in the Hawks. It is hardly surprising that this understaffed office has made no impact at all in the fight against drugs."