Cape Town - Angry Athlone residents have shut down a notorious gang hangout known as The White House and evicted an alleged drug dealer after four years of being terrorised by the gangsters and drug addicts in their neighbourhood.
Tempers flared in Silvertown on Sunday night as fed-up residents demanded the man, who allegedly sells drugs for the Americans gang, face them after a 24-year-old man was severely beaten and left for dead a day earlier.
Residents say the mert took over the house in Anthony Road in 2015 after he swindled a drug user into believing he planned to run a mechanic’s workshop and paid him R70 rent a day, but eventually he threatened the family and took the house over by force.
Sakiena Harris, 30, says on Saturday morning, they heard as an alleged drug runner, Singrym Brown, 24, was being beaten up.
“We heard he paid them R55 short of the drug money and so they m**red (assaulted) him here first at The White House, where they smokkel (sell drugs), and then took him to another house,” she says.
“We went there and we found him in the backyard. He was lying in a puddle of water and was unconscious. There was blood coming out of his ears.
“They hit him with a hammer and the leg of a table until he was flou (unconscious), then they threw him wet with water to try and wake him.
“The one side of his head was pap geslat (beaten to a pulp). But when he didn’t wake up, they said they were going to bury him in the yard.”
Deneen Parson, 24, says they called Brown’s family, who rushed him to hospital where he is currently in a coma after suffering severe head injuries.
A relative of Brown, who asked not to be named, says doctors at the Heideveld Emergency Centre referred him to Groote Schuur Hospital.
“They said his head is too swollen for any surgery and we are waiting to hear about all his injuries but now he is in a coma,” they said.
Resident Valencia Arendse, 36, says on Sunday, residents called a meeting in the park.
“We first prayed for guidance. Then we called for him and his skollies to come out and face us because we want answers,” she says.
“They hit people and rob people and take over the whole place and we are gatvol (fed up) of these gangsters.”
She says when they refused to come out, the community marched to the house and tore down the gates before pelting the house with bricks.
“One of them got on the roof and threw us back, but they saw we were too strong and ran away,” says Valencia.
“The police came and saw what we were doing and told us we must go on with our ding.
“We are not leaving it like this and we dare them to try and come back here. This is our street, it doesn’t belong to the Americans.”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, says no case was registered against the residents.
Community Police Forum chairperson, Aziza Kannemeyer, called on police to clamp down on known drug dens.
“This address is better known as The White House and is notorious for drug dealing,” she says.
“The state and judiciary must take responsibility for dragging their heels.”