The streets were filled with community members who were pleased to see the police raiding suspicious shops.
Three men were arrested today, and a nyaope user asked to be taken to a rehabilitation centre when the Gauteng department of community safety conducted the Thuma Mina Peace Walk in Diepsloot.
“We have seen that there’s a scourge of drug within Gauteng communities so as a result this walk is also aimed at warning communities about the dangers of engaging in substance and alcohol abuse. Community mobilisation is key in the fight against drugs,” department spokesperson Hlulani Mashaba said.
Mduduzi Dladla, 28, a nyaope user who has been smoking since 2007, said he would be willing to go to a rehabilitation center.
“I stopped school in grade 11 and I had passed and was meant to go to matric. I never had support at home and I had inner pain that I couldn’t express.”
He said before he started drugs he was working for an exhibition company from 2012 until 2016.
“When we went for a drug test at work I failed it. We uses to carry stages and heavy equipment so they would test us. I was usually able to bypass the test but I got caught when a random test was done,” he said.
“My family wants nothing to do with me. When we do drugs we mess things up at home and sometimes even for our neighbours.”
Dladla was emotional, even saying he did not care if the drugs killed him because it would bring peace to his mother.
“I wish the department could assist us faster because this drug eats the body. When you go to [the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependenc] Sanca you only get assisted after some months and you lose hope.”
During the walk, South African Police Services (SAPS) officers and Gauteng Traffic Police conducted random raids at local shops that were suspected to be dealing in illegal activities.
A man was found and arrested at what seemed to be an internet cafe with papers resembling the paper used for license discs.
“The Thuma Mina walks are aimed at enhancing community policing relations. We have seen that police trust has deteriorated so this is one of the ways to restore trust back into communities,” said Mashaba while watching the police doing the raids.
Two more men were arrested at another block of shops, where they were found with bank cards and identity documents of various people.
The streets were filled with community members who were pleased to see the police raiding the shops.