A police drug bust in Johannesburg. File picture: Antoine de Ras/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - A former commander in the South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau of the Hawks in Durban has lifted the lid on alleged collusion between police officers and an alleged Phoenix drug lord and laid bare the details of how the officers stole drugs from a raid in Johannesburg.

The officer, a lieutenant-colonel, signed a 21-page sworn affidavit earlier this year alleging that several officers in Durban were in cahoots with a drug dealer with ties to the taxi and tow truck industry in Phoenix.

The policeman, who was moved from the narcotics unit to the organised crime unit in the Hawks, however, admits in the affidavit that he is under investigation for alleged ties to another Phoenix drug lord.

In the statement, signed at the KZN police headquarters on May 9, the policeman alleges that the officers have a reputation for their “cowboy tactics”. 

He first reported them allegedly stealing drugs from a crime scene after a raid in Johannesburg in August 2016.

He alleges they had received information of a Chatsworth-based syndicate processing and packaging drugs in Johannesburg. A raid was set up using officers from Gauteng.

However, he alleges the corrupt officers from Durban who had travelled to Johannesburg separately, breached the suspected drug manufacturing house in Midrand themselves before the rest of the raiding team could arrive.

When he eventually arrived at the scene and took the suspect into custody, the suspect told him he had approximately 8kg of heroin powder and at least 10 000 Mandrax tablets when the officers burst through the door.

When the drugs were counted, however, there was only approximately 3kg of heroin powder and 5 000 Mandrax tablets.

He alleges that he raised the issue with provincial police management and suggested a polygraph test for all the officers involved in the raid, but “none was ever forthcoming and provincial management made no further effort in satisfactorily attending to my complaint”.

* IOL sent national Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi a detailed media enquiry last week. This week he said he was still waiting for responses to the questions posed from his colleagues in Durban. At the time of publishing, none had been received.

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