A desperate Philippi woman, Buyiswa Manana, has resorted to chaining her 17-year-old drug addicted son to a wooden pole inside her shack to keep him out of harm’s way.
Her son Asanda had been using drugs since 2016.
Asanda started smoking when he joined a youth gang in the area, abusing different types of drugs available in the township, including tik.
Ms Manana said recently angry people stormed her house, accusing her son of stealing and wanting to kill him.
Not so long ago, said the 39-year-old mother of three, Asanda sold a cellphone belonging to a neighbour’s child after he took it.
She said she once had to step between him and an angry mob who also accused him of stealing and wanted to kill him.
And now, she said, she is fearing for the worst and has decided as a last option to use “tough love” by chaining him.
Ms Manana said some of the people who wanted to kill him have visited her house looking for him and now she fears that his actions might put his siblings’ lives at risk of being attacked by the mob when they can’t find him.
“If he was a rat, I would have bought poison a long time ago and killed him. But I can’t because he is my son.
“I fear that when people come around and can’t find him they might kill us, thinking we are hiding him. When I’m at work, I fear for my other children’s lives.
“I constantly have to borrow money to replace things he steals. He recently stole R1 000 and I had to replace that money. I do not have the slightest idea what to do with him now. I just need help,” she said.
Ms Manana said Asanda has stolen everything from the house and the only things which are left are the TV set and microwave. But she said when she goes to work she must take them to her brother or neighbour because he would definitely sell them.
Ms Manana said she sent her son to the Eastern Cape to his grandmother and also to relatives in Gauteng with the hope that he might change but all these efforts proved to be fruitless.
Ms Manana appealed to anyone who might be able to, to help her and her son.
Speaking to Vukani, Asanda said he understands what he is doing hurts his mother and family and he also wishes for help so that he can change.
He said when he smokes he becomes a completely different person. Asked about his dreams and aspirations in life, he said he wanted to be a social worker and assist people who need help.
He said understands why his mother ties him up because he is “troublesome”.
Thozoma Mtsabe, the office manager at Realistic, a Gugulethu-based organisation which deals with youth who battle drug addiction, said they offer a variety of programmes which are all aimed at helping the youth to stop using drugs.
But, most importantly, she said whoever suffers from drug addiction must be willing to get help because the journey to recovery is not easy.
Ms Mtsabe said they were willing to assist Asanda and invited the Manana family to make an appointment with them so that they can assess what kind of help Asanda needs.