Children moved after drug bust

2016-06-14 06:00

The department of social development has moved children who were at an unregistered crèche in Seawinds, at which dagga worth R25 000 was found.

After the news reached the department, a team of social workers was sent to the facility to investigate. The children found at the unregistered ECD were immediately moved out of the facility, and placed in neighbouring facilities.

The crèche owner was arrested after the dagga was found (People’s Post, Drugs bust at crèche, 7 June).

Albert Fritz, MEC for social development, says as per the Children’s Act of 2005, the department will act on the unregistered ECD owner after the facts have been established and the police investigation is concluded.

“The department has a zero-tolerance approach to any alleged abuse of children. That the drugs were allegedly found in an unregistered ECD centre further highlights the importance of the public reporting suspected unregistered facilities. The public plays a critical role in enabling the department to intervene in the interests and safety of children.”

Fritz adds that the department welcomes the arrest of the crèche owner. The arrest was made possible by community members who tipped off the police.

“After obtaining a search warrant, police proceeded to an address in St Patricks Avenue. The residence, which serves as an unregistered crèche, was approached at about 14:30 and a thorough search of the premises was conducted, where a large amount of dagga was discovered under the built-in cupboards in the kitchen,” says Captain Stephen Knapp, spokesperson for Muizenebrg Police.

“The owner of the residence, a 56-year-old man, was present during the search and the police confiscated a total of 36 parcels of dagga, 28 bankies and 22 sticks of dagga. The owner was subsequently arrested and charged for dealing in narcotics.”

The suspect appeared at the Muizenberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday 6 June.

Members of the public are urged to report such incidents to help the department to protect children.

“When reported, the department can work with these facilities to bring them into compliance with the Act, or use the law to shut down any non-compliant facilities,” says Fritz.

V The public can report any incidents of child neglect or abuse at any social development local office or via the department’s hotline 0800 220 250.

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