Johannesburg - The raid on a Mandrax manufacturing laboratory in Benoni on the East Rand is a victory in the fight against drugs in Gauteng, premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Wednesday.

“The discovery of a laboratory this past weekend must be applauded as a major step in the fight against drugs in Gauteng,” she said in a statement.

About three tons of Mandrax with a street value of about R2 billion was seized at the laboratory on Sunday, making it one of the biggest drug busts of the year according to the police.

The drugs were discovered after a fire broke out on a plot in Crystal Park.

When the fire department arrived at the house the gate was locked and fire-fighters had to force it open.

“Four people were seen running away from the premises after the gate was opened,” Captain Mack Mngomezulu said at the time.

Fire-fighters put out the fire and found the laboratory.

A case of manufacturing drugs was being investigated by police.

Mokonyane commended the police for removing the drugs.

“We laud the law enforcement agencies in the province for the good work done in removing three tons of Mandrax from the streets.

“We know that this could have led to more young people in our province being addicted and as a result condemned to a life of crime and hopelessness,” Mokonyane said.

She urged community members to work with police to ensure that those who were running the lab were arrested.

“Please help the police arrest the people who were making this poison for our young people. This poison could have been destined for your child or mine.”

Sapa