Recently a Cape Town attorney appeared in court for passing 30 packets of tik to her client who was appearing in the same court on a separate case. The attorney was granted R1000 bail. If ever there was an opening for the Justice Department to send a message that it is serious about reducing criminal arrogance and addiction, the measly R1000 bail send the wrong message.

Similarly when the media reports on the abuse of kids by drug and alcohol addicted parents, ordinary people become exasperated?  Ironically, addiction is not new as Prophets of God who preached centuries ago warned about the result of addiction.

There are more than 75 references in the Torah and Bible that discuss issues of intoxicants. Example Proverbs.20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging:  whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise”.

Since time immemorial, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Ismail having been guiding and warning humanity, yet we refuse to listen. As a result and for centuries, people have and will suffer. Many innocent die in needless incidences and suffer because of others, who are intoxicant addiction.

Daily Capetonians witness the limitless threats posed by addicts as the alcohol and drug addict is dangerous as their persona is altered by addiction. We are all familiar with the criminal aspect of the addict as most resort to crime to feed their addiction. This includes theft, hijacking and murder.

According to research, addiction has exacerbated the burden of disease which in the short term includes vehicle accidents and limits other patient access to emergency medical treatment. Medium term problems include Tuberculosis, HIV & Aids and Liver Disease. Long term complications include children born with physiological and psychological challenges. This precludes the mental issues like paranoia and the phases of psychosis. Problems associated with addiction are infinite.

The addict’s downward journey is connected to the chaos that they sow, yet the only reality to an addict is the craving to feed the selfish evil desire that consumes them. In this selfish world where their desire is paramount, addicts care little for the well-being of others.

Recently the media reported on street children as young as 9yrs old robbing and stabbing while high on glue. While we could blame Apartheid and spend millions on useless pie in the sky programs and research the issue until the cows come home, genuine and realistic action at some point is required.

While it may seem horrid, a rural kibbutz styled enforced labour internship where addicts and street people have limited choices but to work for training and welfare sounds practical. While addicted, they must remain interned as the results of release are obvious, back to the city to rob and spread chaos.

The Cape Argus as an influential partner in Cape Town’s social upliftment has a natural duty towards the broader society. Therefore when the Argus reports on the Australian drug smugglers sentenced to death in Indonesia and other stories like this, the reporting should not promote leniency.

The media must also discourage the notion that South Africans jailed abroad for drug smuggling, must be jailed locally. By showing mercy to the guilty we are limiting our mercy to the naïve youth that is the intended victim of the drug smuggler.

In the words of the wise, change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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