Mokonyane: Name, shame drug dealers

Johannesburg - Community members should name and shame drug dealers, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Sunday.

She was speaking in Chiawelo, Soweto, outside the house of a 92-year-old woman, who was hacked to death on Thursday allegedly by her 38-year-old grandson.

The grandson apparently went to the woman's house and demanded her pension money, which he allegedly wanted to use to buy drugs.

Mokonyane said in that in memory of the woman, the community should help to shut down "lolli lounges" and arrest drug pushers.

‘It’s enough’

A lolli lounge is a house where drugs users gather to smoke tik.

"In her memory, name and shame them. As we bury her, let at least one or two drug houses in Chiawelo be shut down," Mokonyane said.

"We are saying it's enough. It can't be right that our children kill our mothers."

Mokonyane said she was angered and emotional about the old woman's killing.

"What will we do about it?" she asked the group of people who had gathered outside the house.

Many of the crowd were members of the ANC Women's League, while others were churchgoers who had come to show support.

Mokonyane said parents who allowed children to smoke drugs in their yards also needed to account for this.

"Let's not be proud of our children's hustle when we don't [know] what hustle it is they are doing," she said.

"Stop buying stolen goods... Stop selling ARV's to drug dealers."

‘Crime stops with me’

She said families should look after senior citizens rather than being sent to old-age homes.

Earlier, Mokonyane joined the community of Eldorado Park outside Soweto in a prayer march.

"We will defeat this demon," said Mokonyane, addressing an Anglican church gathering.

She told community members that they needed to work together to find the source of the problem and she welcomed the support of the religious community.

Scores of people, including youth and the elderly, took part in the march.

Some of the marchers were dressed in orange t-shirts printed with the words "Take charge, crime stops with me".
They carried placards reading: "Just one take is a mistake" and "I am grand without drugs and alcohol".

The first stop was at a house just metres from the church.

The house, which had a large broken window, and a door plastered with plastic, was once allegedly used as a "lolli lounge".

Candles of hope

Mokonyane also visited Diamond Flats and Hillbrow Flats in Eldorado Park.

She warned the people living in the government-owned property to stop using drugs and operating lolli lounges, or they would be evicted.

At both flats, Mokonyane left candles, symbolising hope, with one community member.

At one of the flats, a woman whose child apparently died from a drug overdose earlier on Sunday morning, came to hear Mokonyane speak.

Gauteng MECs Faith Mazibuko, community safety; Hope Papo, health; Mandla Nkomfe, finance; and Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, social development also took part in the march.

Members of the ANCWL and several people dressed in Democratic Alliance t-shirts also joined in the march.

Mokonyane said none of the people present were there to campaign but they were there to fight against drugs in the community.

The march ended at the Eldorado sports stadium where Mokonyane said the community needed to work with them and police officials to root out drugs in the area.

She said she was aware that there were some corrupt police officials and issued a stern warning to them, saying they would be caught.

Mokonyane also spoke out against vendors who sold drug-laced products to children, as well as teachers who worked with drug lords.

She signed a pledge stating that she would make a positive contribution in the fight against violence towards women and children. The pledge also spoke of a commitment in the fight against drug abuse.

Several weeks ago, President Jacob Zuma visited the area after one mother complained about drug abuse in the area.

On Sunday, Mokonyane said they had made progress since Zuma's visit, with 26 lolli lounges being shut down and 41 drug delivering vehicles being impounded.
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