The community of Lentegeur are fed-up with an alleged drug dealer whom they claim has taken over their streets and turned the area into a war zone. The community has been picketing in front of Fadwaan ‘Vet’ Murphy’s house since Sunday in a bid to peacefully communicate with the suspected drug boss.
Residents say the violence has sporadically increased since Murphy’s alleged drug den began its operations some 15 years ago. Speaking to VOC News, residents said they have already exhausted every possible avenue to end their years of suffering.
One resident, Raafiqah Fredericks said the community, known to many in Mitchells Plain as the ‘Eiland’, is currently being controlled by Murphy and his cohorts.
“The most vulnerable are being targeted. There are many families in the area who maybe can’t even afford to pay their rates or bond, he comes in as a saviour and offers to assist them financially. Murphy then uses those individuals’ home to stash his drugs and other illegal items. You see so many of his young ‘runners’ selling his drugs and walking around with illegal firearms. We want him out and we won’t stop until he is removed,” Fredericks said.
A local tabloid paper recently published an article where Murphy is quoted claiming that the community has resorted to violence and threatening him and his family. However, the secretary of the Lentegeur Community Policing Forum, Yasmin Holtman, said during the most recent confrontation about two weeks after this article was published, the community called on Murphy and his gang to end their illegal operations and leave the area.
“Police was present on that Sunday. We even used the police loud speaker to call these individuals out. Nothing has come from this. Police are unable to pin Murphy to any of these crimes but yet we see him operating openly in front of us. Media and police refer to him as an ‘alleged’ drug dealer but we say that he is one because we see it,” Holtman added.
Another resident Charlene Cootee said the situation in the area is worsening.
“There are four schools in our area and some men affiliated to the local syndicate group were even seen allowed by school security onto the premises and forcing young girls to engage in acts of oral sex or intercourse. Many of our daughters attend the local schools and we worry about their safety all the time. The gangsters have guns and are very aggressive. Even the school security fear for their lives…something needs to be done,” Cootee stressed.
Anti-drug outfit Pagad has promised to play a more active role in assisting residents of Lentegeur in their battle against gangsterism and drugs. This month, the organisation visited the community for a public meeting to address the issue. Pagad spokesperson Haroun Orrie said the organisation will offer their assistance in whichever way possible to ensure the safety of residents especially the vulnerable youth.
VOC News has contacted Mitchell’s Plain police for comment and is awaiting a response. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)