Mokonyane Details Eldorado Park Anti-Drug Plan

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Four children, including an eight-year-old, have been removed from "lolli lounges" in Eldorado Park in the past week, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Wednesday.

"Four children have been taken away and they are now in alternative centres because of their vulnerability," Mokonyane said.

She was briefing journalists on action taken since President Jacob Zuma's pledge last week to crack down on rampant drug abuse in the area. On May 14, Zuma addressed residents after receiving a letter from resident Cordelia Bailey about drug abuse.

In the letter she described "lolli lounges" as places where young girls were lured with payments of R100 to entertain men. They became hooked on drugs and stayed on as prostitutes, getting their drugs for free as they kept clients "happy".

Zuma called it "a crisis, an abnormality", and a committee was appointed to tackle the problem.

Mokonyane said 20 people had been arrested in connection with operating the "lolli lounges".

She is on the committee, along with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Gauteng provincial police commissioner Mzwandile Petros, and representatives of the departments of social development, correctional services, trade and industry, and economic development.

A joint operations centre had been established and Petros would co-ordinate the drug-busting policing with metro police.

Plans were afoot to start a seven-day intensive detoxification programme at nearby Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, as well as other programmes for rehabilitation and aftercare.

Buildings that belonged to the City of Johannesburg and were being used for drug activities would be cleared or demolished.

A meeting with school governing bodies was planned, school gates would be closed during the day, fences repaired, and vendors around schools scrutinised. There would be "patrollers" within school premises.

By-laws would be enforced and the committee would examine the possibility of introducing World Cup-style specialist courts to deal swiftly with drug-related crime in the area.

A march against drugs would be held on June 2. Mokonyane apologised to residents for potential annoyance during the crackdown.

"But it is going to be in the best interests of our community," Mokonyane said.


Source : Sapa /jje/tk/jk/th
Date : 22 May 2013 11:04
 
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