Recovering addicts clean court on Madiba Day

Iliso Lakhe Community Rehab Centre visited the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court on Madiba Day.

A group of recovering drug addicts spent their 67-minutes for Madiba cleaning holding cells and toilets at Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The addicts are all residents of Iiso Lakhe Community Rehab which is based in Mandela Park at Andile Nhose Centre. The rehab centre was started by community leaders in 2021 and currently has 159 male and female clients..

The rehab’s founder, Shahid Mlamli Silwana, said the centre was started in response to his experience of how drug addicts were terrorising their parents by selling household items to sustain their drug habits.

“We as part of Sanco we were often called to discipline these children and that did not help because they would offend repeatedly,” he said.

When Mr Silwana approached the communit and suggested that they start a proper rehab centre for troubled youths, they were given the use of the Andile Nhose Centre. Each parent was requested to bring a mattress, blankets and food.

Co-founder Lerato Setlaba said they had seen a lot of improvement and behavioural change in the group and that the parents were excited with their progress.

“Parents are very hands-on and that makes our duty a bit light,” she said.

On Monday, 22 of the addicts were allowed out to clean the court as part of their Madiba Day project and they tackled it with vigour.

Lindokuhle Ndzula from Mandela Park said he was happy to visit the court in a “positive way”. He had been there before and he was thrown in jail for eight months.

“I have been given a second chance to change my life. It is not nice in jail,” he said.

Likho Ngqaku who dropped out of school in Grade 7 at Nomlinganiselo Primary in Nyanga regrets dabbling in dugs because it nearly cost him life.

“When I started doing drugs I also started robbing people. I tasted people’s justice several times and I am never going that route again,” he said.

Khwezi Sambu got involved in hijackings but he feels he is a changed man now.

“My mother’s heart was ruined by my actions and I thank her for supporting me in this journey,” he added.

Court manager Velile Yayi said he was touched by the visit and urged the broader community to support this initiative.

“Youth in conflict with the law must must be encouraged to take steps like this. My court will be automatically become friend of this centre,” Mr Yayi said.

Ward councillor Ryder Mkhutshwana said he would make sure that centre got the support it needed.

“I will encourage all layers of government to be part of this. Madiba fought for a drug-free society and they are emulating him,” said Mr Mkhutshwana.

Three recovering addicts , Khwezi Sambu, Lindokuhle Ndzula and Likho Ngqaku talk to Vukani’s Voox Sonandzi.
Court manager Velile Yayi addresses the addicts after they cleaned holding cells.