Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
9 May 2017
11:55 am

Mthembu opens up about his jailed son’s addiction to nyaope

Citizen Reporter

Though his son has been arrested, Mthembu said he did not even know what his crime was.

ANC Parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu. Photo: Supplied

African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu has opened up about his first-born son’s addiction to the dangerous drug nyaope.

Speaking at ANC parliamentary caucus chief of staff Tumisang Bojabotsheha’s funeral in Cape Town on Sunday, Mthembu said he had been “devastated” by the addiction.

He told mourners that he heard about his son’s arrest but did not know what his crime was, the Daily Sun has reported.

He reportedly said he wished Bojabotshela had been his son, as he could not be proud of his own, who was in prison.

“I don’t even know what he has done. At the age of 32, he is addicted to nyaope,” he was quoted as saying.

In 2011, he spoke about the addiction in an interview with 702, saying there was no drug his son had not tried.

Mthembu told the station that his son, who had been treated at least six times at addiction centres, was “a total wreck” and “a lost person”. He became an addict a few years after his parents’ divorce, something Mthembu said may have been a trigger.

The ANC chief whip said he never suspected his son, but thought someone had broken in, after household items started disappearing from his home in Witbank. His son then allegedly started taking blankets and groceries from his ex-wife’s home to be sold for drugs.

Mthembu only started suspecting something was wrong with his son after he failed matric “despite his being a bright kid”. His son had repeated his final year, but again “failed dismally”, he said.

There had been times when the ANC leader had picked his son up from the streets, “as filthy as a dog”, he told the station. Even though he tried to get help for him, the young man always relapsed.

In a bid to curb drug abuse in the country, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has vowed to conduct random night club raids in search of these kinds of drugs that have torn SA’s youth apart.

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