Missing teen sheds light on 'lolly lounges'

2012-05-21 14:17
Johannesburg - The search for missing 16-year-old Beranice Links has revealed a "Pandora’s box" of missing children in coloured townships in Gauteng, IOL reported on Monday.

Young girls were lured into prostitution and drug abuse into houses called “lolly lounges” - named after the glass pipe shaped like a lollipop used to smoke substances such as tik.

The houses are used as drug hubs by criminals and gangsters.

A local organisation was reportedly looking for Links, a pupil at Westbury High School, who went missing on her way to school on 7 May.
 
Fazil Carrim, a former drug addict who used to frequent lolly lounges and the founder of The Organisation, said these places are in the open, right under our noses.

Four lolly lounges have been closed down and 12 of 14 missing girls rescued, Carrim said.

He said children went into the lounges of their own free will and that the youngest person rescued was 12.

Lolly lounges were more common in Cape Town, but Gauteng was starting to catch up, he said.

Three days has been the longest time taken for The Organisation to find a missing child. Links has been missing for two weeks.

“Beranice is a quiet child and she wouldn’t just run away," Links' mother said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  johannesburg  |  narcotics  |  child abuse

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