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There is nothing complex in fighting drug dealers

My observation on how the EMPD has been tackling the drug scourge in Boksburg North lately, led me to the belief that with concerted effort any war can be fought and won.

Maile Matsimela, Boksburg Advertiser Assistant Editor, writes:

My observation on how the EMPD has been tackling the drug scourge in Boksburg North lately, led me to the belief that with concerted effort any war can be fought and won.

EMPD ups the ante against drug dealers in Boksburg North 

Truth be told, I have always had difficulties believing that fighting drugs and drug dealers is a complex problem for the police, given that peddlers mostly use the same tactics and occupy the same spots, especially in small suburbs like Boksburg North.

We all know the aftermath of drugs; how they ruin souls and families.

However, what saddened me the most was when I learnt in the recent past that drug dealing in Boksburg North is so rampant that it is now interfering with the well-being of legitimate businesses.

They trade openly on their pavements and encroach on their customers. As a result, businesses were now starting to lose revenue because customers were running away from the area.

Another drug peddler nabbed in Boksburg North | Boksburg Advertiser

So big was the problem that business people’s last resort was to petition the police to act.

To quote from their petition “Drug dealers stand in intimidating groups yelling, fighting and encroaching and most importantly, frightening our customers with blatant offers. Our possible clientele has been driven away and in their place we have a hive of illicit substances sales, attracting all kinds of unsavoury characters.”

Mind you, these are businesses that pay rentals and salaries and contribute to the economic and financial health of the city by way of paying taxes.

They further contribute to the positive outlook of our country’s GDP.

It is no secret that South Africa, and Ekurhuleni in particular, is battling with a high rate of unemployment, so how on earth do we allow such illegal activities to disrupt the little we have to keep our country afloat economically?

It begs for common sense indeed.

Another Nigerian man nabbed for drugs in Boksburg North 

Back to my observation. It’s been a few weeks since the petition and we now have arrest after arrest of drug peddlers.

The EMPD is on a roll. They have adopted a no-nonsense approach which also includes conducting surveillance on suspected drug dealers.

Some were caught in the act and arrested within hours of surveillance. Now this backs my honest belief that someone had been lenient with drug dealers all along – there was never a vigorous attempt.

I’m not one to peddle rumours, but I am sometimes tempted to believe that our men in blue do accept bribes from drug dealers in exchange for protecting them while our streets are flooded with cocaine and such.

In almost all the arrests made by the EMPD in a few weeks, cash believed to be the proceeds from drugs was also confiscated and handed over as evidence.

If the officers who made these arrests were not so honest, they could have taken the cash and let the drug dealers live to sell for another day.

Another Nigerian man nabbed for drugs in Boksburg North 

So this is proof that rotten potatoes, or bad cops rather, are the only stumbling block in the fight against drugs.

If all our cops were good, we wouldn’t be sitting with what is currently being experienced in Boksburg North.

And the problem with bad cops is that they are also paid to tip off drug peddlers when good cops are about to pounce on them.

This reminds of a classic case of a Sophiatown senior police officer who was arrested in October last year for having an alleged corrupt relationship with drug dealers.

Intelligence and investigation into his activities revealed rather shocking details in that he was helping the suspected drug dealers betray their clients and evade police arrest.

The allegations were that after a client purchased drugs from the suspects‚ they would give the police officer a tip-off.

The police officer would then organise a raid on the clients‚ seize the drugs but free the clients in exchange for a bribe.

Nigerian man nabbed for R2m worth of drugs in Boksburg North 

The drugs would then be taken back to the suspected drug lords who would also pay the police officer a bribe for returning the loot of drugs.

Now this is absolutely breathtaking.

So in conclusion, I would put my head on the block and risk saying that there exists some kind of criminal element in our local police.

They do things that ought not be done, which delay the fight against drugs, and one day I will be proven right.

There is nothing complex in fighting drugs. It just acquires an honest will to tackle the crime.

We can only put our faith in the good officers to restore law and order.

Boksburg Advertiser Assistant Editor, Maile Matsimela.
Boksburg Advertiser Assistant Editor, Maile Matsimela.

 

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