Children as young as seven years who befriend drug lords flourish in Seshego’s underground when it comes to substance abuse – a crime labelled as the biggest challenge in an area identified as a hotspot that is regularly on fire.
African National Congress Member of Parliament Boy Mamabolo in an interview remarked that one of the causes of youngsters getting involved in drug-related crimes is that parents give them too much pocket money.
“Children befriend drug lords and nyoape dealers and use pocket money to support them. When they run out of money they turn to crime such as housebreaking and robbery. Expensive stolen items such as cell phones and plasma television sets subsequently get sold for next to nothing for their next fix,” Mamabolo said.
He indicated that children from as young as seven and not older than 17 years are the biggest culprits when it comes to substance abuse.
To the contrary poverty also contributes to the situation, according to Mamabolo. “Children get frustrated, forcing them to turn to something that give them pleasure. They sit at home thinking about ways to make money to live a life they cannot afford,” Mamabolo said.
He also highlighted substance abuse and poverty as the biggest contributor to crime in the area. He further indicated that not only does substance abuse lead to theft and robbery but sometimes escalates to more serious crimes such as murder and rape.
When asked the about the Police’s efforts to address the situation, Mamabolo said that the men in women in blue are not doing enough. According to him some officers allegedly take bribes from drug dealers and other criminals.
This was cause for recent unrest in Seshego where community members took to the streets to deal with criminals on their own. During an incident last month Mamabolo along with Economic Freedom Fighters Provincial Leader Jossey Buthane and community leader Motladi Puxley Setsiba were arrested.
Since then community safety meetings are being held on a regular basis, the latest being held on Sunday when members of Seshego Community Crime Fighters (SCCF) promised residents that they would do anything to ensure that Seshego becomes safe again.
They said they wanted to deal with gangsterism, drug dealers and the scourge of nyaope which is prevalent in the area.
Spokesperson of the group, Oageng Makhura said members patrol the area every day and conduct search operations in schools, recreational areas and shopping centres.
He stressed that they will be working closely with the Police, the business community, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders and schools to curb crime.
Makhura further stated he is happy with the strides made by the members since they started the movement a month ago. “The level of crime in the area has deteriorated. We started mid-January with the operations and the area is quite now,” Makhura said.