'We need to close our borders, because drugs are coming in' - Mashaba

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City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba.
City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba.
Ntwaagae Seleka

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has reiterated his call for national government to tighten the country's borders. 

Mashaba said the country's open borders were contributing to a drug infestation within the city.

He was addressing the media, at an under-construction drug rehabilitation centre in Westbury on Tuesday.

"To win the war against drugs, without any doubt, we need to implement interim measures. If we are serious about winning more wars against drugs coming into our country, we need law enforcement that is serious about fighting crime.

"We need to close our borders, because drugs are coming into our country. We also need to close our borders to stop human trafficking," he said.

Mashaba said human trafficking was related to drugs, because young women were given drugs to commit "unacceptable acts".

"For us to win, we need the media that understands that, when we raise these issues about closed borders and human trafficking, we are not xenophobic. If we allow criminal syndicates to come and run our country, we will have huge problems. We need the media that understands," he said.

The mayor said drug dealers should be locked up. 

'Lock them up and throw away the keys'

"All of you are aware how I deeply hate drug dealers, because they destroy our communities. I have no tolerance and I don't apologise to anyone.

"We need to find short-term solutions to deal with the problem. The long-term solution is to lock them up and throw away the keys."

READ: Newsmaker: A lone voice in Eldos

Mashaba said the R4m rehabilitation centre was a short-term solution.

"As government, we have a responsibility to get them (drug addicts) out of their situation. Our long-term solution is to deal decisively with drug dealers, because they are the ones causing this problem.

"This place was formerly used as a 'lolly lounge', where young children as young as 12 are being trained into a life that is a shame to society. We need to protect them," he said. 

The centre is situated at the Westbury Primary Health Care Clinic. It will officially be opened in October.

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