We’ll take you out - Mokonyane
Johannesburg - People who used government flats as drug houses and “lolli lounges” would be evicted, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Sunday.
“These are government flats intended for the use of the poor who cannot afford shelter,” Mokonyane said in Afrikaans at the Diamond Flats, in Eldorado Park.
The community had reportedly complained about the use of drugs there, and that some flats were being operated at “lolli lounges”. A lolli lounge is dwelling where drug addicts gather to smoke tik, which is also known as lolli.
“If you do wrong in this place we will chuck you out,” said Mokonyane.
A resident, Jesse Johnson, said she was active in the drug battle.
She said her own grandson had previously used drugs, but was now rehabilitated and working in the army.
Johnson said many people were against her because she constantly reported suspected drug pushers and users to the police.
“I know a lot of people are against me... but the community should not turn a blind eye to drugs. Our coloured people just look away,” she said.
She said the mothers of the drug dealers accused whistle-blowers of being jealous of them.
Johnson accepted a candle, on behalf of the community of Diamond Flats, which she would burn every day as a symbol of hope.
Scores of community members joined Mokonyane and MECs Faith Mazibuko, community safety; Hope Papo, health; Mandla Nkomfe, finance; and Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, social development, on a march around the area.
Members of the ANC Women's League also took part, as did several people wearing Democratic Alliance T-shirts.
Mokonyane said none of them were there to campaign, but to fight against drugs in the community.
The marchers sang as they made their way to drug-hotspots in the area.
Police facilitating the march identified a street where they said several drug-dealers lived there.
The entourage stopped outside one house to pray.
The march continued to the Hillbrow Flats, in Eldorado Park.
A woman resident's son had committed suicide by overdosing on drugs there on Sunday morning.
One woman, a resident at the flats, had just lost to drugs that morning.
Another resident said her 13-year-old niece, who was also using drugs, had run away from home and was pregnant. She was thought to be living in Pietermaritzburg.
Mokonyane warned drug dealers in the area: “You think you will shoot us... we will get you first.”
“Say thanks, for there is no more deathrow, but you will go away for life,” she said. “Your days are over.”
Mokonyane said it was important for the community to pray for the police and she spoke out against corrupt police officials.
“Police shouldn't be tempted. They will be arrested by good police,” she said.
The marchers briefly stopped outside the Eldorado police station where they prayed for the police.
The march began at the Anglican church in Eldorado Park. There, Mokonyane thanked the religious community for joining the battle against drugs.
President Jacob Zuma visited the community a few weeks ago, after a mother complained about the drug problem in the area. - Sapa