19 in court over Gillitts drug lab

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This once-grand family home in Winston Park, Gillitts, was the scene of a massive drug bust at the weekend. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad

Durban - Nineteen people appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with a drug laboratory in an upper-class Durban suburb where heroin and Mandrax were produced.

The public and media were ordered out of the court before proceedings started before magistrate Ravi Pillay.

Pillay said there was an issue about the ages of two of the accused and therefore the matter had to be heard in camera until it was proven that they were not juveniles.

National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Natasha Kara said the matter was postponed to December 17 for a formal bail application.

She said the two accused, who might be minors, would appear in court again on December 9 for a final assessment of their ages. The 19 were arrested over the weekend.

Lt-General Solomon Makgale said on Sunday that heroin straws, Mandrax tablets, heroin powder, and drug-making equipment were found at a house in Gillitts, Durban, on Saturday night.

All 19 were foreign nationals. The drugs seized had an estimated street value of R41 million.


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