Zuma blames vandalism on drugs
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Durban - President Jacob Zuma on Sunday associated the use of drugs with vandalism, asking how people could burn buildings that were of benefit to them.
Zuma was addressing a church in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg, where the radio station Ukhozi FM was celebrating its 56th birthday.
The day also coincided with the International Day Against Drug Abuse.
Zuma was first a guest on the show, broadcast from the House of Christ Church, before speaking to the churchgoers. He said people needed to stop vandalising property, and that alcohol made people do things they would not ordinarily do.
“If you take drugs, how can you stop doing it?” he asked, referring to what people did under the influence. He appealed to young people and children to refrain from using drugs and abusing alcohol, and to addicts to seek treatment.
Zuma said people needed to have love. “If you don’t love yourself, no one will love you,” he said.
People who took drugs did not love themselves, said the president. Taking alcohol affected one’s thinking capacity and the way the body functioned. He said everyone should find a solution for the abuse of drugs.
A statement issued by the presidency said that between 7.5% and 31% of South Africans had an alcohol problem, or were at risk. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime report of 2014 indicated that more than 270 000 South African citizens were defined as problem drug users.
In the statement, the president said: “The abuse of drugs is threatening to destroy many families. Some parents live in fear of their children who terrorise them and neighbours, due to the abuse of nyaope, whoonga, cocaine, heroin and other drugs.
“We appeal to our youth to say no. Those who are already addicted should seek treatment.The government is building treatment centres in every province, to make treatment accessible.”
He also said local authorities should not grant liquor licences to outlets selling liquor to schoolchildren, or those that operated near schools.
“We urge communities to report drug lords and drug pedlars,” he said.