Recovering Tik addict, Ryan van Tonder, says, "Tik makes you a monster. That's why you say you become a Tik monster, you become evil. You believe in dark stuff. You believe in hating people."

Reports show Tik's tentacles are spreading increasingly into the rural areas. Families affected by the drug are hoping government's long-awaited anti-drug strategy will help bring them some relief.

Pandor considers random drug testing amid violence
Naledi Pandor, the minister of education, says she is seriously considering instituting random testing for drugs in schools. Pandor was reacting to concerns raised in the National Assembly about violence in schools.

"I believe that the impact of drugs may be what is leading to the psychotic kind of conduct that we are seeing on the part of some of the children in our schools," says Pandor.

Pandor also says it's necessary for parents to ensure that their children are not high on TIK, or carrying knives or firearms when they go to school. She says to truly address the issue, it's necessary for parents teach children manners and discipline before they enter school.

Tik one of the biggest threats in Southern Africa

Increased production and distribution of Metamphetamines or drugs like "Tik" or "Ice" is one of the biggest threats facing Southern Africa. This is according to the United Nations which released its 2006 Drugs and Crime report in Tshwane yesterday.

South Africa has seen a dramatic rise in the incidence of drug related crimes, from just under 53 000 in 2001 to over 95 000 last year.

According to the UN, the increase in the manufacture, sale and use of these methamphetamine-based drugs is as a result of the easy availability of the component chemicals, mainly Ephedrine.

The drug is therefore manufactured cheaply and sold at high prices. It can also be made within the country, making it attractive to drug dealers.

According to the report, Africa continues to be exploited by traffickers because of a lack of control mechanisms in most countries on the continent.

Spreading awareness
An estimated R1 billion has already gone to police resources to crack down on the supply of the drug. The Tik Off Awareness Campaign is aimed at informing and empowering communities to fight the drug and related social problems.

The programme has a strong focus on the youth, creating awareness about the effects of tik. About 890 volunteers are to be deployed to 109 schools earmarked as the highest risk spots across the Western Cape. Sedrick Taljaard, an official from a participating media organisation, said: "We publish 750 000 community papers every week to all households… We will feed the community with the necessary information that is important for them to be aware of this problem."

This biggest anti-tik awareness campaign ever launched in the province will run throughout this week.

The battle against the highly addictive drug tik has intensified, with police searching 3 000 premises and houses on the Cape Flats and opening 560 drug cases - all within six days.

The blitz is also aimed at solving a string of attacks on houses that have been linked to drug dealers, according to provincial community safety minister Leonard Ramatlakane.

The searches, which began last Friday night, were mainly in gang-infested Manenberg.

Intelligence sources and gang members have confirmed that attacks on drug dealers - including pipe-bomb attacks and execution-style killings - are all linked to the tik war.

The battle over the supply of the drug involves Western Cape gangsters being played against each other by Nigerian drug syndicates and the Chinese Triads (mafia).

The Nigerians, who had specialised in crack cocaine, cocaine and designer drugs like Ecstasy, were now vying for control of the tik market, several sources said on Wednesday.

In retaliation, the Triads, primarily from Johannesburg, and who had in the past supplied Mandrax and tik exclusively to local gangsters, were hitting back.

Two weeks ago alleged tik dealer Mogamat Zain Smith, better known as Love Bite, was shot dead at his Athlone home by three gunmen.

Last week a pipe bomb was thrown into the Jupiter Street, Surrey Estate house of the late Mervyn Abrahams, who had been linked in the past to the drug trade.

Authorities have also cracked down on tik factories, including a big bust six weeks ago in Milnerton of a "factory" linked to the Triads. At the weekend, a tik factory in Strand was raided by police.

Ramatlakane said: "We have declared our intent up front. We are not going to relax. We are going to accelerate (our campaign against organised crime and drug dealers)."

"More and more, the police are making inroads and working smarter. We will continue to break cells and units (manufacturing and supplying tik and other drugs)."

Ramatlakane said since January, 178 332kg of dagga and 23 000 Mandrax tablets had been seized.

"These operations underline that we are serious about the plight of our people - the weak and vulnerable. We continue to make the call that we cannot win the battle without the help of the mothers, fathers, families and community and religious organisations on the Cape Flats," Ramatlakane said.

The series of articles published in a Cape Town daily newspaper dealing with the criminal economy - headlined "Gangland (Pty) Ltd" - had been a "huge revelation" in trying to understand the "challenges facing our society", he said.

"I have had lots of conversations with ordinary men and women, parents, families and churches who want to do something. They have indicated that this is a battle that we have to take up together."

Ramatlakane described as "terrible and shocking" Wednesday's horror killings in Beacon Valley, where three children and a woman died when intruders apparently threw an explosive device into their home, and the shooting massacre in Milnerton.

In the Milnerton tragedy, a nurse, her alleged lover and her three children were gunned down. - Staff Reporters

Cape Town - Western Cape police are still searching for the gang that gunned down Russian crime boss Yuri Ulianitski and his small daughter in Milnerton on Tuesday night.
Ulianitski's wife, Irina, survived the attack and is in a stable condition in Milnerton Medi-Clinic, said a hospital spokesperson on Wednesday night.
Superintendent Billy Jones confirmed the identities of the victims and said there had been no arrests yet.
He could not comment on any motive for the attack, saying he was not in contact with the detectives on the case.
On Wednesday, Western Cape newspapers reported that the late-night attack was regarded as a hit on Ukrainian immigrant Ulianitski, 39, known in Cape Town as "Yuri the Russian" and the owner of The Castle strip club in the city.
Ulianitski shot 20 times
The family was driving through Milnerton at about 22:45 on Tuesday in an Audi 4x4 on their way home from a restaurant, when they were attacked by people in a white Toyota Tazz.
Paramedics said Ulianitski was shot 20 times, his wife Irina, 38, was shot four times and their daughter, Yulia, four, was shot in the head.
"We are not excluding the possibility that the attack was a direct hit on their lives," said Jones earlier.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Mark Stokoe said the man had been shot about 20 times. Paramedics found the woman lying outside the car. She had been shot four times.
Ulianitski and his daughter died shortly after their arrival at hospital.
tik is very cheap that school kids can afford it & a whole generation of youth is lost.

we losing alot of coloured youth through tik, the goverment doesn't want to close our borders & the nigerians flocking here, we having big wars with nigerians who is trying to take over our home we also got problems with moroccons, russians, chineese, italians. this is prodomintly a coloured battle because we own the streets & we the ones that have to deal with these foreigners & it's most of our youth that's on drugs. it's spreading now into black comunities so the goverment is starting to take action but the cops are all dirty. the cops contact the drug deallers before they get raided. there is also too many loop holes in the law for the ones that do get caught. before they sought us out they should 1st get rid of the foreigners.
before when south africa was owned by whites it was compalsary for white teens to join the army for 2 years, they must bring that back because our youth has no dicipline, they complety lost & our borders need to be covered.