January 27, 2016

Drug dealers openly trade in Boksburg as SAPS fails to act

Michele Clarke, MPL DA Gauteng spokesperson on Community Safety, recently witnessed two drug transactions taking place within one hour on North Rand Road, Boksburg

Michele Clarke MPL points to the corner where the drug dealers openly trade on North Rand Road.
Michele Clarke MPL points to the corner where the drug dealers openly trade on North Rand Road.
According to her, the transactions did not take place in “secret”, but in the open, on a Sunday morning.

“Both transactions took place in exactly the same manner – the buyers parked their vehicles along North Rand Road where they met the dealer and exchanged money for drugs through the front window in a matter of seconds,” said Clarke.

However, this is not a new occurrence in North Rand Road.

“The youngsters come here because there is a lot of entertainment in this area, thus this is the central supply corner,” Clarke said.

“Parents living in this area have also brought it [the drug trade] to my attention.”

Clarke has reported this spot to the Ekurhuleni Metro Police and Boksburg North SAPS on numerous occasions over a number of years.

Last year, in May, DA Boksburg Constituency head Janet Semple MPL and Clarke led an anti-drug march to the Boksburg North SAPS.

“We presented a memorandum to the Boksburg North SAPS, outlining our proposals to fight drugs in the area,” Clarke said.

“However, by September 2015, it was revealed in a written response from Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, that the Boksburg North SAPS claimed never to have received our memorandum – we have the photo and news coverage to prove otherwise.

“It was further revealed that the police had failed to conduct any operations focused on combating drug abuse and trafficking since we presented our memorandum to the station.

“It is clear that, another four months later, nothing is being done.”

According to Clarke, the fact that drug dealers in Boksburg feel comfortable enough to openly conduct their transactions indicates the lack of visible policing and failure by the Boksburg SAPS to fight drugs and trafficking in the area.

She said there were also no undercover operations by the SAPS on the day in question, adding: “The SAPS is mandated to prevent and combat crime in communities”

Clarke believes that the failure of the Boksburg North SAPS and Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department to fight drugs extends to a failure by national government to reinstate specialised drugs units.

She has corresponded with MEC Nkosi-Malobane on numerous occasions, requesting her intervention in this matter.

“Unfortunately, she continuously responds by saying she is in the process of taking up this matter with Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko – which has resulted in nothing being done to date,” said Clarke.

She will be writing to Nkosi-Malobane and requesting a report on how many operations the Boksburg North SAPS has conducted since receiving the memorandum, how many arrests have been made and how many led to convictions.

“We need dedicated and well-resourced specialised units that can investigate and secure the convictions of drug dealers, to ensure they are taken off our streets,” Clarke said.

“This is the only way we will tackle the scourge of drugs plaguing our communities.”

In reaction, Lieut Juanita Coetzer, spokesperson for the Boksburg North SAPS, denied that the police were taking no action.

“Members of the police were placed under cover in civilian clothing to observe this hotspot, as well as others,” she said.

“A task team was also put together to concentrate on these hotspots; this has led to numerous arrests.

“These operation are still continuing.”