The Cave cleaned up

Parks and Recreation staff started the clean-up of the thoroughfare and cave on Wednesday morning.

Swift action from councillors, police and community security groups after a story “Mother’s brave crusade” published in the Public Eye last week has led to the shut-down of a popular drug haven known as the Cave and a clean-up of the thoroughfare bordering the Champa Road cul-de-sac before the school holidays are over.


On Wednesday, ANC PR councillor, Rachel Soobiah, Mrs A Naidoo, the mother who brought the story to the Public Eye’s attention, Mountain Rise SAPS officers, security groups and a local businessman, Niran Mansingh, pledged to work together to eradicate the drug problem and maintain the upkeep of the field that once served as a haven for drug dealers.
Naidoo had alleged that drug dealers would lure unsuspecting teenage girls to the cave and then get them high and take advantage of them.

Role-players who attended the meeting included Mr P Jawahar, resident Nolan Govender, Col A Kandhai from Mountain Rise SAPS, Niran Mansingh, Jonathan Govender, from RZS Protection, Mrs A Naidoo, and Rachel Soobiah.

Going forward, patrols from Mountain Rise SAPS, Sector 4 Community Policing and RZS Protection will increase in the area. Colonel A Kandhai said stop searches, observations, and any information received on drug activity would be acted upon swiftly. Sector 4 Community Policing and RZS Protection will work in conjunction with police to assist with foot patrols and other crime-prevention tactics.
Soobiah, other councillors, anti-drug activists, and police met last Friday at the cul-de-sac to find a way forward.

The entrance to the cave which is circled in red is formed by the overgrown vegetation.

Naidoo, who policed the area herself and removed girls from the predatory clutches of drug dealers, said she was glad to have such great support.
“I am happy the exposure we received in the Public Eye garnered such a positive and great response from councillors, police and other role-players. This area was in ruins and now I have been assured it will be clean before the new school term. I am glad that our children and elderly, who use this thoroughfare to access the taxi route and school, will be safe. I believe the fast-growing drug situation is out of control and should be stemmed at school level and in the community,” said Naidoo.
Mansingh, a businessman in the timber industry, said he was glad to be involved in the initiative.
“When councillor Soobiah reached out to me to assist in fixing the two dilapidated bridges used by learners and residents, I was happy to help and give back to a community in dire need of a new beginning,” said Mansingh.

Role-players Col A Kandhai from Mountain Rise SAPS, Rachel Soobiah, Mrs A Naidoo, Jonathan Govender from RZS Protection and Nolan Govender inspecting one part of the cave.

Soobiah, who applauded Naidoo’s bravery in rescuing teenage girls from an uncertain fate, said she will continue to ensure the thoroughfare’s upkeep and the community’s safety.
“When I saw the article, I knew I had to get involved and do my bit. As a councillor, it is my job to ensure that issues such as this plaguing our community are dealt with timeously. I am confident that we have assembled the right team of role-players for the work at hand and we will see positive changes in the weeks to come,” said Soobiah.
She implored parents to ensure they kept an open line of communication with their children.
“We assume we know our children but often we are caught off-guard when something tragic happens. My appeal to parents is to get involved in their children’s lives. Get to know their friends and friends’ parents; keep track of their activities and spend time with them,” implored Soobiah.
Brigadier Boxer Pillay said the Mountain Rise SAPS had been made aware of allegations of drug dealing in the area.
“Our Crime Intelligence Unit is following up with investigations. We have not received any complaints from anyone claiming they were abused or molested in this area,” said Pillay.
Pillay urges the community to report crime to the police.
“When we are made aware of any criminal activity, we can take the necessary steps to investigate,” said Pillay.

  AUTHOR
Keroshini Paltu

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