Umzinto residents hail arrest of drug deals suspects

2012-04-26 00:00

YOUTHS in Umzinto who are addicted to drugs have been described as “running after drugs like a thirsty animal looking for water”.

Parents and community leaders in Umzinto have welcomed the arrests of nine drug dealers — seven men and two women aged between 19 and 59-years-old — in a joint operation by the Hawks, Road Traffic Inspectorate and Umzinto police yesterday.

Pastor Reginald David said he was ecstatic about the arrests.

“One of the guys arrested is from the same building where we have our church. His presence threatens the freedom and liberty of our youth.”

David said the availability and use of drugs in Umzinto over the past few years had become highly prevalent.

“Young lives are destroyed on a daily basis. I pass some of these youths on the street and they are in a complete daze. They run after drugs like a thirsty animal looking for water. Nothing else matters to them.

“For each dealer apprehended many youth are set free. They are the root cause of the problem,” he said.

David said the justice system needs to take a much tougher stance against drug dealers.

“They have enough money. As soon as they are out they start again. Their assets need to be frozen.

“Their money makes them unstoppable and the justice system needs to cut off that resource to them.”

A mother whose Grade 12 child was introduced to drugs at an Umzinto school said: “Drugs bring nothing but despair and helplessness to families.

“My child is a recovering addict, but there is always that worry of a relapse. We bring them up with … love and care and strangers just come into their lives and destroy everything.”

The arrests were made in the CBD, Riverside Park, Roshan Heights, ­Hazelwood, and the Sanathan and Roseville informal settlements.

Crack cocaine, heroin straws, and mandrax tablets worth over R2 000 were recovered. Police also recovered R1 700 cash, a knife, eight cellphones and a sealer.

A husband and wife and their adult son were among those arrested.

All nine will make appearances in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court today on drug-related charges.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker told The Witness: “Members of the community contacted the provincial commissioner and expressed their concern about the high rate of drug abuse in Umzinto.

“An operation was initiated two months ago and we are very happy to have apprehended [the dealers].”

Naicker said the community had played a key role in the arrests.

“They are the people who are on the ground and can tell us what is happening. There were many people who came forward with information that helped in this investigation.

The dealers, he said, “have no moral consciousness and are a threat to the community. We will push for harsh sentences from the justice system. All this hard work will go to waste if these people are allowed to walk back into their communities and pick up from where they left off.”

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