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By now, we are very familiar with the drug scourge that plagues communities and disrupts the lives of many but on Tuesday, 25 October, as Mrs Malebo, a staff member of Saaberie Chishty Ambulance (SCA) departed the train station before taking her usual route to work passing Lenasia CBD area, she was approached by a passerby with much urgency. The person had recognized Sheila’s attire adorned with such pride as a life saving paramedic and pleaded with her to take a look at his friend who had been lying in an unresponsive state for quite some time.

As luck would have it, Saaberie Chishty Ambulance  was spotted in the distance and after flagging them down, Sheila proceeded with the team to Concorde Street, extension 1, Lenasia – hoping to save another life. On the contrary, Raihaan Shaik, Intermediate Life Support Paramedic declared the patient dead after careful examination.

It is confirmed by the devastated brother of the deceased from Orange Farm who had been visiting his sibling that he had passed out after inhalation of the famous street drug consumed mainly in impoverished townships; Nyaope – a substance containing ratex and other toxic chemicals. Also, the deceased had recently been released from Sun City prison after being jailed for a year.

As ‘street kids’ often share the bond of a family, who actually become a caring unit, guarding each other’s backs after being on the streets due to drug addiction, many were left in tears on the scene at the loss of someone whom they assumed was just ‘high’.

Moving forward, Lenasia SAPS were summoned to the scene by the medics for investigations and forensics as the youngster in his early twenties had died from unnatural courses.