Dangerous drugs take their toll in Khayelitsha
A FEW years back drug abuse by youngsters in Khayelitsha was not a major headache but that has dramatically changed, with some community workers saying the sprawling township is facing a drug crisis.
The drugs used include dagga, tik (crystal methamphetamine) and cocaine as well as homemade drugs concocted from a combination of medications such as ARVs and headache pills.
“Substance abuse is fast taking its toll among the youth,” said Mabhuti, a neighbourhood watch co-ordinator in Khayelitsha’s Makhaza area, who did not want his full name printed.
Other policing forums in Khayelitsha said they had been keeping a close eye on the situation in areas like Site B and C, Harare, Makhaya and Makhaza.
Mabhuti said: “We’ve been working with the police over the years and we have regularly confiscated many kilogrammes of drugs from drug dealers and other people.
“These drugs are mostly consumed by delinquent youths, which is why you see a sharp increase in crime and drug use everywhere.”
An ex-drug user known as Kabs said drugs were definitely more prevalent in Khayelitsha than a few years ago.
Tik and mandrax favoured.
“Kids these days also like to experiment by mixing a myriad of drugs and smoking them all at once. It’s a dangerous affair.”
Nolitha Tyatyaza of Site B said it was after the return of gangsterism to the area about three years ago that drug dens began to spring up.
But police denied that organised gangs were in the area, saying this had been prevented by police monitoring.
When Weekend Argus visited Khayelitsha, locals were reluctant to point out the suspected drug dens.
“Some of these people have spies who are on the lookout for people who speak to the authorities or the media. We don’t want any trouble coming our way,” said Tyatyaza.
Suspected drug dealers were often let off lightly by police, she claimed.
But Khayelitsha police spokeswoman Anneke van der Vyver disputed this.
“There are no instances where police can let drug offenders off lightly as this is not our field to deal with. All offenders are arrested and the drugs confiscated,” she said.