Revived Pagad sends out a warning

Hundreds of Manenberg residents take to the streets in a march led by Pagad to alleged drug dens where they told drug dealers to stop trading. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane

Hundreds of Manenberg residents take to the streets in a march led by Pagad to alleged drug dens where they told drug dealers to stop trading. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane

Published Mar 10, 2011

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In one of its biggest marches in recent years, People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) has led hundreds of Manenberg residents to the homes of several suspected drug dealers, some of whom were made to face the crowd.

And the message to the suspected dealers was clear: ”Stop or we will make you stop.”

Hundreds of Manenberg residents walked to about eight different suspected drug dens. Police officers on foot kept a close watch while a convoy of police vehicles followed the marchers.

“No to drugs, yes to life!”, “Down with the merchants, down!” they shouted as they made their way through the streets. People who had been watching from their gardens and on the pavements were encouraged to join in.

At the first house they arrived at, the targeted suspected drug dealer was hauled out of his house and told to face the crowd.

“That’s him! That’s him!” came shouts of confirmation from the crowd.

Pagad leaders questioned the man about his alleged drug dealing. He denied the allegations.

A quick slap to the back of his head. “Tell the people what you do here!” he was ordered.

He admitted he was a dealer. He was warned by a Pagad leader: “We are saying to the SAPS, this man has admitted he is dealing in drugs; tonight he is a convicted drug dealer by this community.”

The crowd cheered then moved on to the next house. At the second house, which some residents claimed was also a brothel, another man was forced to face the crowd.

He was ordered to stop allowing children to take drugs at his house.

Marshalls ensured that only Pagad leaders entered the suspected drug dens and monitored the crowd. Pagad leaders reminded the marchers to maintain discipline.

Nyanga Cluster Community Policing Forum chairman, Hanif Loonat, said Pagad had not applied for permission to march but police had allowed the march to continue on condition that there was no violence.

Pagad gained notoriety in the 1990s when their marches on the homes of drug dealers frequently ended in violence. It was at one such confrontation where Hard Livings gang boss Rashaad Staggie was shot and set alight during a protest march on his home in August 1996. - Cape Argus

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