Lessons from former gangsters and addicts

Former gang members and drug addicts joined hands at the Victory Outreach International Church rally against gangsterism and drugs.

They shared their stories at the rally in the Town Centre on Friday April 26.

The youth leader from Victory Outreach, Justin Dreyer, 34, from Lentegeur, was a former drug user addicted to heroin and a gangster.

“For 13 years, I’ve been a gang member and drug addict. I joined the church and started working with them to share my story. We want to give mothers hope again, we are creating a space for them to join us and feel free to share their stories too,” said Mr Dreyer.

A former gang member and tik addict, Raymond Prince, 41, from Eastridge; roamed the streets and said he had slept in the Town Centre.

“I got saved, and I have been clean for eight months. I don’t have my former friends in my life,” said Mr Prince.

He said he never thought his children would come back into his life again. There was hope for others, he said.

A minister at Victory Outreach, Jewaan Thuynsma, 28, from Westridge, got involved with the wrong friends started doing drugs and ended up in the Town Centre, where he slept.

“I could not handle my habit and stole from those I loved. Victory Outreach were speaking to people in the Town Centre and reached out to me. They helped me get out of the life of crime I was in,” he said. He has been clean for six years.

A former drug addict, Lee-Ann Fraser, 34, who grew up in Lentegeur and now lives in Hanover Park, said shehad been addicted to tik when she was younger. She dropped out of school at 16 and fell pregnant at 18.

She moved away from home and left her son with her mother – choosing a life of crime instead, she said.

“I smuggled drugs in and out of Cape Town, and it cost me five years in prison, of which I served two and a half years. “

Ms Fraser completed matric in prison and is busy completing a diploma in tourism.

“Today, I am sold out for God, and I spend my time teaching young women not to take the road I did,” said Ms Fraser.