Mild mannered youth turned knife-wielding “zombies” – it might seem like a scene out of a horror film but it is real for some residents living outside the small Free State town of Bethlehem as the picturesque dorpie is the latest to fall under the spell of South Africa’s cheap street drug nyaope.
In the rural North West town of Makwassie, poverty continues to fuel drug use and crime, according to community members who recently participated in a mock debate as part of a community dialogue.
Sheila Gumbi watched her son change before her eyes as her once sweet baby boy became increasingly aggressive. She now knows why but being able to name her son’s addiction has not given her the power to stop it.
At 15 years old, Asanda* towers over her Grade 3 classmates, most of whom are about five years younger than the East Rand teen. Asanda is one of thousands of South Africans born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), according to the University of Stellenbosch.
Released by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) on 12 January, this 49-page preliminary document outlines plans to, for instance, increase HIV and tuberculosis (TB) prevention, care and treatment among sex workers and families.