Statement by MEC De Lille: James Restoration Home is an Illegal Drug Rehabilitation Centre
Social Development Minister Patricia de Lille says Ashley Haas and Brent Florence, the two men swept out to sea on Monday during a SABC Fokus shoot at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve, were residents of an illegal drug rehabilitation centre.
'Firstly I would like to convey my condolences to the families of these two men, who showed such incredible tenacity over the past few months in their efforts to get clean,' Ms De Lille says.
'Monday's events represent a terrible tragedy.'
Minister De Lille says she instructed the Department to investigate the registration status of James Restoration Home, 'which we have found to be an unregistered rehabilitation centre.
'According to the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act of 1992 (amended in 1996) it is a criminal offence to run an unregistered rehabilitation centre,' says De Lille.
Of the 26 registered drug rehabilitation centres in the Western Cape, 5 are funded by the Department.
'The Department has for some time been aware of 9 illegal drug rehabilitation centres, excluding James Restoration Home, all of which we instructed to close down,' De Lille says.
'Thus far 4 of the centres have complied with our instruction, while we are in the process of taking legal action against a further 4. The final one submitted a second application for registration and was registered in August 2010.'
The 4 centres that have not complied with the Department's instruction are:
- The Al-falalaqa Treatment Centre for Boys - Schaap Kraal
- The Al-falalaqa Treatment Centre for Girls in Lotus River
- The Ragma Treatment Centre for Girls in Schaap Kraal
- The Ragma Treatment Centre for Boys in Parkwood
The Lighthouse Therapeutic Community in Retreat, meanwhile, submitted its policy document as well as a second application for registration. A reassessment was done and the Lighthouse was registered in August 2010.
'I would like to call on parents, families and relatives of anyone needing to go to a rehabilitation centre to always ask to see the centre's registration certificate,' says De Lille.
'You can also visit the closest Social Development office, or call our helpline, 0800 220 250, to find a drug rehabilitation centre in your area.
'The Department would also like to call on all the illegal centres in the province to come forward so that we can assist them to comply with the law,' De Lille says.
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