The sudden appearance of dozens of what appeared to be used needles on Durban beach left residents in awe as KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu seeks the truth behind the appearance of the needles.
The strange incident was revealed after a surfer, John McCarthy posted on Facebook that he stepped on one of the needles while taking a run on Thursday morning. The post was shared up to 500 times on the social media.
A lot of people suspect that the needles could have been dumped by drug addicts who made use of the beachfront late at night or in the early hours of the morning. This theory is not yet confirmed as the premier gave the order for an investigation to be carried out on the matter.
Because of the risks involved as the needle McCarthy stepped on appeared to have been used, three different doctors suggested he should get a hepatitis-B injection and subject himself to a month-long course of antiretroviral medication.
McCarthy recounted that this was not the first time that used needles were spotted on Durban beach, said he was aware of at least three other incidents. He added that about a month ago, another surfer also stood on one.
McCarthy said: “In my case it was clearly a used needle. The general consensus is that they are ‘druggie needles’, although it could be a form of medical waste.
“Either way, they were definitely used needles.”
According to his encounter with the needle, it was buried under the beach sand, making it impossible to be seen easily. This was the same experience recounted by beachgoers in the past.
McCarthy suggested that urgent attention be given to the problem before it goes out of hand.
“I’ve been a daily surfer for the past 25 years and I’ve never seen needles on the beach until the last month or so.
“Something has happened or is happening. If the city doesn’t act decisively, it could be catastrophic,” he said.
Lee van Vuuren who saw the Facebook post shared his own similar experience last month which he tagged the Municipality to.
He posted: “So our walk along the waterline went a little bit like this – eight syringes, some still with bent needles. This is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with immediately. This is not the first time that this has happened.”
Another Surfer Grant Harper also commented: “I had one on Easter Sunday, walking and talking to Spider [surfing legend Spider Murphy], before I trampled on a needle just before Moyo pier. I’m in no hurry to go back to town.”
All three incidents reportedly happened along the beachfront’s southern beaches, close to the Addington Hospital.
Speaking for the premier, Ndabazinhle Sibiya made a promise yesterday that the provincial government would investigate the incidents thoroughly.
“This matter has been brought to our attention and the premier views it in a very serious light.
The premier’s office will join forces with the provincial department of health, the eThekwini Municipality and other independent bodies to ensure efficiency and to make Durban beach safe for visitors and surfers.