At least eight guest houses were torched in Rustenburg during a taxi operators led 'raid' on suspected drug dens and brothels. Picture: Molaole Montsho/ANA

Rustenburg - All brothels in Rustenburg, in the North West, will be closed, executive mayor Mpho Khunou said on Thursday.

He said during a march in November last year the municipality closed a number of brothels in Rustenburg East End.

"We have planned this year to intensify all of this work, we will be focusing on Rustenburg East, Rustenburg North and in the central business district particularly at the taxi rank," he said.

"What had happened today or over the last few days is quite unfortunately, we understand as the municipality the anger which was displayed yesterday [Wednesday] surrounding allegations of collaboration by some police officers with these known drug dealers, we are concerned about it and it for that this reason that we intensify our efforts."

"From next week we will be closing all remaining brothels. One of the thing that these drug traffickers do is that when you focus on the one area they move to another area, we will be intensifying our intelligence so that there is no part of Rustenburg the could hide."

Eight houses were torched and others damaged on Wednesday, when a mob led by taxi operators went on a rampage, after a police officer was found at an alleged drug house in Rustenburg Noord. A 17-year-old girls was rescued at the same house.

Read more: Eight guest houses torched in #Rustenburg

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula condemned the people who decided to take the law into their own hands.

"No matter how justified people might think they are, taking the law into their own hands does not make them different to the people they accuse of being criminals. People must know we are a democratic state, with competent institutions that could resolve all concerns," he said.

He urged the police to root out acts of criminality in communities, in particular brothels where the future of young women get destroyed.

"We cannot coexist with criminals, police must smoke criminals out of our communities but our people must work close with the police, if the local police fail them, they must escalate the matter. There are many people of goodwill, we need to pull in one direction and comprehensively respond against act of crime," he said.

Locals showered taxi operators with praises for spearheading the 'raid' on drug dens and brothels.

"The taxi drivers did a good job, drug dealers had no space in Rustenburg. We do not want them here," said one old man.

"The police must just leave the taxi drivers to do the job, the police failed us now taxis have take over give them space to clean this town. These nyaope boys and SVK gang members controlled the town."

African News Agency/ANA