Angry Bridgetown residents marched to suspected drug houses and “pela pos” houses on Friday January 10 to demand an end to the illegal activities.
About 300 people chanted “Ons gaan dik hou, tot julle op hou”, as they marched towards the properties.
They went around to two houses in Fink Road, and one in Loerie and Kalkoen roads respectively, just after 8pm on Friday.
At one of the houses, in Loerie Road, the community got so angry because the alleged drug dealer did not want to come outside, that they stoned his property. Windows were smashed and the burglar gates and burglar bars were destroyed.
Bridgetown Neighbourhood Watch chairperson, Nazeem Davids, said the community was upset about alleged human trafficking happening in their area that was being overlooked.
“On our community chat group, a young girl cried out for help. At many of these drug houses, young girls are being forced to sell their bodies for drugs. That is what angered the people. The authorities should recognise how angry the community is and must take action against those who are causing so much destruction in our area. I am sure that we have at least gotten the attention of certain authorities. As the neighbourhood watch, we are an organisation that works within the framework of the law. It is unfortunate that we should fight for peace,” Mr Davids said.
Mogamat Serfontein wanted to know from one of the homeowners of a suspected “pela pos” why he allowed girls as young as 13 years old at his house. “At a pela pos, you can bring your drugs and use it there. Young girls are also going into prostitution at places like that to support their drug habit. I even know of a mother who used her rent money to buy drugs and will go and use it there,” he said.
Ward 44 councillor Athony Moses, who had joined part of the march, said two of the properties the community marched to, fell within his ward.
“I have been approached by the community about the situation. Some of them have spoken about and acknowledged anti-social behaviour. From the City’s side, we put our processes in place. Our investigative unit is on the ground monitoring the properties. I have also escalated the community’s concerns to provincial SAPS. The primary goal of the march was to peacefully demonstrate their unhappiness. The next issue to be looked at is the illegal liquor sales in the area. Law enforcement is on the ground, and giving us reports about it,” Mr Moses said.