The department of police, roads and transport bulldozed a former clinic in Heidedal, Bloemfontein which was used as the drug hub last week Thursday during the launch of the provincial crime strategy.
The residents of Heidedal were relieved when the empty premises of the dilapidated old clinic were destroyed. Many said they would be happy if the government rather builds a recreational park on the land.
The premier of Free State, Ace Magashule made sure that the drug hub was demolished when he personally drove the bulldozer into the building. He said the provincial government will destroy similar buildings used for drug and prostitution throughout the province.
Magashule urged the community to stop protecting and harbouring criminals. He applauded the police for the good work they are doing and warned the liquor board against recklessly issuing liquor licences.
The national commissioner of police, Riyah Phiyega, praised Magashule for his bold intervention of destroying drug and prostitution dens in the province.
“In order for us to prevent crime, all role players and stakeholders must work in a united fashion. Communities, business and civil society must come together and leverage on each other’s resources and capabilities.
“The practical demonstration by this province’s collaborative efforts epitomises a recipe for success in the fight against crime. We should not only rely on activating the SAPS to combat or investigate crimes which we could have prevented,” added Phiyega.
Local councillor, Vernon Ward, said he was aware of the drug problems in the area. He said most community drug dealers were known by the community, but never get reported to the police.
He said the council has initiated open community dialogues to discuss drug abuse and its effect on the community.
But the co-ordinator of “I dare you to choose life” campaign, Gustav Wilson from Heidedal thinks there is still hope for the community of Heidedal if residents and police join hands to fight drug lords.