fight against drugs revived

MEMBERS of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs say they have revived their activities of holding public marches against alleged drug dealers.

MEMBERS of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs say they have revived their activities of holding public marches against alleged drug dealers.

The move comes after Padad accused the police of failing to deal with the scourge of drugs on the Cape Flats.

Pagad spokesperson Abeda Roberts yesterday told Sowetan that the organisation was reviving its old tactic of marching on gangsters.

She said parents were desperate for a solution to the Cape Flats' Tik problem and the government, police and religious leaders had not responded to the cries for help of the poor Cape Flats communities.

On Saturday the police swooped on a group of Pagad members who were preparing to march to a suspected druglord's house in Mitchells Plain. A total of 58 people, including Roberts, were arrested and charged with public violence.

Yesterday Roberts described how children hooked on drugs steal and sell their parents' belongings to feed their addiction. She said one of the women she was arrested with now only has a mattress to sleep on after her addict son had sold most of her furniture.

The arrests on Saturday have sparked concerns that Pagad, which was accused of vigilantism in the past, was planning another wave of violence in Cape Town.

In the 1990s Pagad leaders were arrested on charges of urban terror after several attacks on Cape Town druglords - including the killing of one of Cape Town's notorious gangsters Rashied Staggie.

Roberts said Pagad's aim was to free the community of gangsterism and drugs. "We are not going to stop because nobody does anything."

Athlone community activist Shaheed Mahomed, who is not a member of Pagad, said every school on the Cape Flats has a drug problem.

Mohamed blamed the spread of drugs on the collapse of community organisations. He also blamed the situation on police taking bribes from gangsters instead of arresting them.

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