Drugs confiscated by SAPS

Rustenburg - Seventeen former drug addicts have come out to support an initiative by Rustenburg residents to clean the city of drugs.

The group said they want the community and young people to see them as an example.

Ben Matsipe, 30, from Potchefstroom said he had been in Rustenburg for a long time and used drugs.

"My life ended immediately when I started using drugs," he said.

"I believe that stopping people from selling drugs to us should be something everyone is concerned with. I am seven years clean and many can stop if there are no drugs to be found."

Another former drug addict Keabetswe Modise, 28, said he was hooked to drugs for nine years.

"Using drugs has no future, all they do is punish you for using them. All the money I have ends up on the streets for drugs. I finished my matric but it seems that was for nothing, I just need an opportunity to prove myself," said the former mechanical engineer.

He said he started his college studies in 2009 and dropped out of college in 2011 when he had only a year left to complete his studies.

"I do not know why I dropped out, but at that time I was already started to smoke marijuana (dagga)."

Community leader Themba Skosana said the young boys approached him for help.

"Our cause to rid Rustenburg of people who bring drugs and prostitution is because of people like them. They did wrong and want their lives back. Future doctors and judges were lost because of drugs," he said.

Skosana said residents wanted a case in which 14 Nigerian men were arrested for public violence to be finalised quickly.

The Nigerian men were arrested on January 21, after access in and out of the Rustenburg police station was blocked allegedly by the group in protest of attacks on Nigerian nationals.

This was after taxi drivers led a campaign, raiding buildings occupied by Nigerian nationals accusing them of operating brothels and drug houses. Eight guesthouses were torched during the unrest.

The 14 Nigerian men were expected to appear at the Rustenburg Regional Court on Friday.

African News Agency/ANA