Pagad motorcade targets city dealers
ANTI- gangsterism and drug group Pagad has turned to fear and scare tactics, with members racing through the streets of Belgravia Estate and Rondebosch East with hooters blasting and fireworks thrown, in a bid to single out alleged drug dealers in the area.
And they say they’ll continue their efforts throughout Ramadaan in the wake of a deluge of calls from frantic parents worried about their children’s safety during the school holidays. During their first motorcade this week, they left a huge buzz in their wake as they passed several alleged drug outlets.
The police kept a close watch as two suspected drug dealers, one in Belgravia Estate and another in Rondebosch East, were warned verbally to stop their illegal activities.
A petrol bomb was thrown at a Rondebosch East house. While police on the scene said minimal damage was done, a big black burn mark was visible on the paving in front of the house.
Curious neighbours ran from their homes after reportedly hearing loud hooters, several loud bangs and people shouting warnings such as “we know you are smuggling”.
Residents were unable to pinpoint whether the incident occurred before the convoy passed, but several people said they saw fireworks being thrown. “We’ve never had anything like this in our area. The only noise we hear is the council truck making its rounds,” one resident complained.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said a case of arson was opened for investigation, but no arrests had been made.
He said the incident occurred a few minutes before the motorcade arrived, “therefore the individuals in the motorcade could not have been responsible for the attack”.
He added that the motorcade had been monitored by the police.
Pagad national chairman Abdus-Salaam Ebrahim denied any involvement in the attack, saying only that the organisa- tion was stepping up its campaign during the fast.
“Drug dealing and gangsterism do not stop because it’s Ramadaan. Bad things are still happening – children as young as 12 are still doing drugs, teenage girls are still prostituting themselves to sustain their drug addiction, and our streets are stained with the tears of the mothers who are battling to free their children from the clutches of drugs,” he said.
According to Ebrahim, the idea behind the car convoy came after several parents, mostly mothers, approached Pagad to intervene and help their children.
“Pagad is showing the drug merchants that they are not afraid to go to their homes, that we know where they are doing their illegal business, and that we know what they are doing to the youth and communities on the Cape Flats,” he said.
According to the organisation, the area known as the Vlei in Belgravia had become a particular problem, with children flocking to the area to buy drugs.
The organisation also complained about the police presence during the motorcade.
“This unnecessary show of heavy police presence at Pagad’s motorcade is a clear indication that the government is not serious about eradicating the scourge of gangsterism and drugs from our communities,” the organisation said.
OUT IN FORCE: Pagad national chairman Abdus-Salaam Ebrahim talks to other members of the organisation who joined a night cavalcade past the homes of alleged drug dealers in Belgravia Estate and Rondebosch East this week.