Cape Town - Tik worth more than R18 million and mandrax and dagga worth more than R10 million formed part of a R90 million drugs haul destroyed by the police on Monday.
National commissioner of the SAPS General Fanie Masemola presided over the destruction of the drugs, accompanied by provincial commissioner Thembisile Patekile.
There were 17 boxes consisting of mandrax, tik and cocaine.
Masemola said: “These are drugs that were confiscated during police operations in the Western and Eastern Cape at roadblocks and tracing operations, operation Shanela, stop and search and intelligence-driven operations. They include tik worth over R18m, and cocaine and mandrax worth R10m in terms of street value.
“After the drugs are confiscated they are counted at a local police station and then transferred to the forensics lab where they get tested and, if positive, are kept there until the cases are finalised.”
He said some of the finalised cases included one in Vredenburg where police operationalised information and proceeded to an address where a truck loaded with R10 million worth of mandrax tablets was seized.
“In this case, four suspects were arrested, but one suspect, Hosia Mbuluheni Mathono, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“In Beaufort West, Mandrax worth R2.5 million was seized and the accused was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. In another case in Beaufort West, R18m worth of tik was seized. The accused were sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“In another case in Swellendam, R4.5 million worth of Mandrax tablets were seized. The accused persons were sentenced to five years imprisonment.”
Masemola explained that this was the fourth drug destruction process in this financial year, the most recent drug destruction took place in Gauteng in October 2023, where R800m worth of drugs were destroyed.
“In this financial year alone, close to R1 billion worth of drugs have been destroyed. In the 2022/2023 financial year, six tons of drugs to the value of R2 billion were destroyed.
“The police are registering great successes in intercepting drugs in the country.
“It is worth noting that in the past three months, police have seized cocaine worth R200 million in various drug busts at our ports of entry.
“The first two consignments of cocaine were seized at the Durban harbour in October and the other major bust, worth R65 million, was made in November at the Gqeberha sea port.
“This drug destruction thus demonstrates the relentless efforts of our men and women in blue to remove these drugs that destroy lives and livelihoods.”
He said it was important to note that the SAPS embarked on this process on a regular basis and that drugs that are being destroyed were identified by means of court orders, illustrating the finalisation of cases.