Police raid Westbury 'drug den' as residents mourn
As residents of Westbury gathered at a memorial service on Wednesday to mourn the death of Heather Peterson‚ who died after she was caught in suspected gang-related gunfire last week‚ police pounced on a block of flats down the road.
Officers raided a unit that residents believe is a drug den or “lolly lounge”. This publication witnessed at least four men and a young woman being cuffed and led to a police vehicle‚ much to the pleasure of residents who were standing by and watching.
“This is what we went on a protest for‚” said one woman.
Another added: “Why go for users and not suppliers? Big fish are out there and they know them but they still target those who are already hooked on the drugs‚ the victims.”
The raid followed a day after police minister Bheki Cele announced an increased police presence in the Johannesburg township as well as the arrival of the police’s tactical response team.
Cele had also committed on Tuesday that following the arrest of two suspects for the murder of Peterson‚ two more would be arrested in 48 hours to 72 hours. Peterson’s grieving husband told this publication that it was his hope that those who had robbed his wife of her life would pay for it.
Meanwhile‚ speaker after speaker at the memorial service spoke against the continuing killing of the innocent amid what they believed were battles between warring gangs.
It was Heather’s death that plunged Westbury into violent protests last Friday. Several residents have since been arrested.
Calm had returned to Westbury on Wednesday night as blue police lights flashed across the township and rubble and rocks lined the streets.