Ellen Pakkies a woman of virtue

Rudi Bowe

 Narrated anti-drug activist Ellen Pakkies from Lavender Hill a neighbourhood in Cape Town South Africa says the she is a woman with no infamy.  Ellen Pakkies was at the coast to give motivational talks against drugs and alcohol abuse. She explained she came from a poor home where her parents were also caught up in alcohol and drug abuse.

She has known pain and suffering from the tender age of only four as she was exposed to all sorts of evil. Pakkies told her story starting with her early years and said that at the age of 13 she run away from home and found herself living on the streets, eating from dustbins and the way she earned money was through prostitution. Her everyday life on the streets was tough. She was raped, gang-raped, sodomised and kidnapped several times. People living with Pakkies in the same house were also part of her abuse. Apart from not knowing the abuse she was suffering was wrong, Pakkies had nobody she could depend on or who was willing to stand up or fight for her rights. She went on by saying that she got married at the age of eighteen and divorced at twenty-one. She got married again at twenty-four and fell pregnant and got a divorce at the age of 26. In 2009 Pakkies remarried her second husband and they are still married today.

Her youngest, Abie was introduced to a drug named tik at a young age by one of his brothers. Ellen Pakkies life became disastrous when her son started to steal her belongings to sell it for drugs in order to sustain his addiction. Pakkies pleaded for help from the police, social workers and rehabilitation centres, but alas, no one even listened to her case. The system failed her, and after much struggle Ellen Pakkies decided to take justice in her own hands. In 2007 Abie told her he will stop but she was already pushed too far. Pakkies found a rope in the back of the yard and while her son was sleeping, she put the rope around his neck and pulled it tight around the  posts of the bed until he did not struggle anymore. “I felt instant relief from all the pain Abie has put me through.” Pakkies said. She said that after killing  her son she went to work and told her boss she killed her son. Her boss took her to the police station, and she handed herself over. She remained in prison until she was given bail of R1000. In 2010 the Magistrate who presided over her case admitted the justice system failed her. The Magistrate sentenced Pakkies to 280 hours of community service and a suspended  sentence of three years. From this her passion was born to do her part in educating families about the dangeras  of drugs and alcohol abuse. Pakkies concluded:  “My story is not beautiful but a tough reality therefore, I urge young people to think about how they are making their families and communities unhappy, by causing disunity through their actions. Parents should pay close attention to your children’s behaviour. Especially if it starts to change. As soon as you see something different step in and try to support them”.  Her Worship the Deputy Mayor Penelope Martin-Louw said at the Prayer Dinner with Ellen Pakkies that drug abuse is something that has become deeply entrenched in our society.

The Deputy Mayor said “Close to a decade ago we observed a flickering of hope when the all over crime rate in Walvis Bay was decreased by almost 30% over a few short years. This because there was a concerted effort as various authorities pulled together and drove a successful anti-crime campaign.  “During the late 1900 and early 2000, drug related crimes were on the increase as children as young as 12 were found in possession of hard drugs such as crack cocaine. More than half of those arrested was below the age of twenty. Walvis Bay nearly surrendered to drug lords, but they haven’t taken over thanks to the vigilant efforts of our Police and neighbourhood watch groups”,  the Deputy Mayor added.  The fight is far from over and we must do everything in our power to stop the self-destruction of our youth. The message should be loud and clear to our young audiences that if you start experimenting with drugs you are on your way to never-ending hell.

Parents and our youth should know that the modern drugs are much more powerful and intense than those of the hippie era as this new drug can take you to the ultimate levels of bliss and let you plummet into the depths of utter darkness. Children’s brains are literally being fried.


In  conclusion to her speech, Ellen Pakkies said:  “I would like to thank the coastal community for their love, open hearts and hospitality may God bless you all and help you all in making the coast a drug free place. Special thanks to The Municipality of Walvis Bay, the CODEC team, all the schools, Namport, XCCS, MANICA, Indongo Toyota, Lagoon Chalets and my new friend the management and staff of Walvis Bay Convenient Centre. May God Bless you all.”





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