Helen Zille: “drugs are worse than apartheid”
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
Premier Helen Zille has already spent R87-million on fighting drugs in the Western Cape this year but the problem has now become “worse than apartheid,” she said earlier today (MONDAY).
“There’s not a place (in the province) where dealers don’t reach,” said Zille.
“It’s worse than apartheid. Apartheid mobilised people. When you become addicted you are enslaved. You become incapacitated.”
Zille and her MEC for social development Albert Fritz outlined their various programmes to combat and prevent drug abuse.
Zille said among their plans are to continue “random drug tests” at high schools in the province. She said the schools would not be publically named and learners’ identities would remain anonymous.
“It’s (drug testing) not designed to catch pupils and put them in jail. It’s designed to help teachers and principals deal with it (drugs at schools),” said Zille.
Zille also said that she understood why locals were taking the law into their own hands to fight crime and drugs.
“I’ll never justify anyone taking the law into their own hands but understand the frustration of a community who don’t see appropriate action by police who don’t ensure that drug dealers are convicted,” she said.
She also continued her campaign against the police, which falls under the mandate of national police minister Nathi Mthethwa.
“Police say they know where the drug dealers are but can’t find enough evidence to put them away (in jail)… for some or other reason,” said Zille.
“We catch the addicts but not the guy who gets more kids enslaved. You have to get the big fish.”
Zille said her administration had “doubled of our annual budget for interventions to address substance abuse over the last four years, from just R42-million when we came into office in 2009, to R87-million this year”.
Zilled added: “We will be investing half a billion rand in these services over the next five years should the DA remain in office.”