POLICE Minister Nathi Mthethwa has instructed senior SAPS officers to intensify investigations into major drug lords in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas.
This forms part of the nationwide National Drugs Masterplan.
Mthethwa identified Chatsworth and Phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal, Eldorado Park and Lenasia in Gauteng, parts of the northern areas suburbs in Port Elizabeth and Mitchell’s Plain in the Western Cape.
“The illegal drug trade is big, nasty and violent,” he said yesterday. “Drug lords are evil people who do not care that they are destroying the lives of South African youngsters. They even recruit children to do their dirty business for them.”
Mthethwa has been travelling around South Africa investigating the situation in areas police intelligence identified as problematic.
“The challenges the police face are related to drugs and the violence that goes with the illegal drug trade,” he said.
He said in the Eastern Cape, tik (methamphetamine) was a serious problem. “Good community policing includes getting users off the street and into rehabilitation centres, but I have instructed SAPS that greater emphasis must be put on arresting and charging major drug figures.”
Mthethwa said the strategy included search and seizure, targeting individuals for investigation and ensuring adequate deployment of police in affected areas. He urged those with knowledge of drug dealing to tell the police.
“Crime intelligence is vital if we are to catch the drug lords,” he said. “Making our communities drug-free is something we need to work on together.” – Herald Reporter