DA wants KZN drug unit back

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IOL  NT Whoonga 8 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Hundreds of whoonga addicts were living on a piece of open ground opposite the Durban University of Technology. City officials launched a clean-up initiative that saw addicts and vagrants removed from an Umbilo park. File picture: Geoff Brink

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal community safety department should re-instate the drug intervention unit, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.

“I will be raising this matter at the next sitting of the community safety portfolio,” spokesman on community safety Rishigen Viranna said in a statement.

“It has become even more evident that this province will never win the war against drugs unless the drug intervention units are re-instated.”

He said the SA Police Service had embarrassed themselves and the province by reportedly bungling what they claimed was a R3 billion heroin bust in Kloof, Durban, two weeks ago.

“Experts who tested the seized drugs have now said that police actually seized Mandrax valued at R20 million. This is ridiculous and shows that SAPS is short of the expertise needed to fully fight the drug scourge that has engulfed this province,” Viranna said.

Last month, drugs initially thought to be heroin were discovered during a raid in the posh suburb of Kloof. Three men, aged 23, 55 and 56, were arrested.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said it was the biggest drug laboratory ever found in the country.

Approximately 10 000kg of drugs were recovered. At the time, Phiyega estimated the value of the haul at R3bn.

It was later reported that the drugs were methaqualone, the base ingredient of Mandrax, rather than heroin.

Viranna said the case raised serious questions about the state of police intelligence monitoring.

“I will be submitting questions to the legislature to ascertain as to how this misguided episode happened to begin with,” he said.

Sapa


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