Westbury languishing under reign


Holding placards with “Govt Give Jobs!” “Poverty Kills Our Community” and “Poverty, our kinders suffer”, about 30 men, women and children blocked off streets, burned car tyres and toyi-toyied in protest. Photo: Natasha Hein

“About three months ago, the police made a chilling discovery in the backyard of an old woman living in Westbury — the unmarked graves of seven boys stacked on top of one another. The boys had worked for a druglord known as Clinch* in this notorious Johannesburg neighbourhood with its gangsters, drugs and soaring unemployment. Sniffer dogs had alerted the police to the bodies …”

WJP senior journalist,Ruth Hopkins, explores gangsterism in Westbury in her recent article, published in the Mail&Guardian. She writes: (1) The peace agreement made by Westbury gangs in the 1990s did not eliminate crime and brutality; (2) In Westbury, community riddled with rising unemployment, young men and boys are drawn into the drug trade, resulting in a vicious cycle of drug dealing and addiction; (3) Druglords have walked into the gap left by the gangs. The piece further looks at the deadly relationship between the police and the druglords.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Visit sophiatowncritical.co.za for more on the project.


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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