Durban - The community of Phoenix will no longer tolerate drug dealers and their runners plying their trade in the township, and have made a concerted effort to weed them out - one bad element at a time.
Phoenix SAPS and its Drug Task Team are leading the efforts, having seized large quantities of drugs and arresting suspected dealers over the past month.
On Saturday, residents, religious leaders, and members from the Phoenix CPF picketed outside alleged drug dealers’ homes as the task team conducted raids in Westham.
Three people were arrested and charged with possession of drugs after police allegedly found 1010 mandrax tablets, 78 ecstasy tablets, 319 heroin capsules and 300 litres (liquid form) of cocaine.
A 25-year-old man was allegedly found with 119 heroin capsules, a 26-year-old man with 970 mandrax tablets, 200 heroin capsules and cocaine, and a 39-year-old woman with 78 ecstasy tablets and 40 mandrax tablets.
They appeared in court on Monday.
Recently, a 57-year-old man was arrested at his alleged drug den after police said they found 36 pieces of rock cocaine.
A 32-year-old was arrested on the same day, allegedly with 270 pieces of rock cocaine and 20 mandrax tablets.
Two others were arrested by the Hawks during a raid in Greenbury, Phoenix, for dealing in drugs worth R500000.
A kilogram of cocaine powder, 50 pieces of crack cocaine, 1000 mandrax tablets and 550 ecstasy tablets were seized in that raid.
The duo appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court and were granted bail of R30000 and R40000, respectively.
Arrests continued elsewhere in the township.
The spokesperson and executive member of the Phoenix Religious Leaders Forum, Pastor Nathan Naidoo, said they hoped to make a difference through prayer.
“We joined arms with the police, not only to aid in the arrests but to help those who are involved with drugs. We want these drug dealers and users to accept God and be delivered from all social ills. Drug dealers need to repent.”
The local CPF chairman, Umesh Singh, said they were impressed with the spate of arrests.
“As drug-related crimes continue to increase, we will continue to work with the police and encourage the community to speak out on drug dealings to make more arrests.”
Local DA councillor Bradley Singh said the police needed to arrest the kingpins, not only the runners.
“There are still 50 odd drug dens operating in Phoenix. The problem is the big drug dealers are not being caught. Crime Intelligence needs to be called in to find out where the drugs are coming from and make the big bust before it reaches the drug dens.”