Last week, police arrested a foreigner who was found in possession of drugs valued at about R29000. He was suspected to have supplied several drug runners in Pinetown.
Days later, police arrested a man in Berea after receiving information about drugs that were coming via Tanzania and were about to be mixed, packaged and distributed locally, with an estimated street value of R2 million.
Sam Pillay, director of the Anti-Drug Forum, said drug dealing was like a pyramid that had different levels: “Foreigners always come into the picture on the upper part of this pyramid,” Pillay said.
“We are only dealing with the bottom end of the pyramid, the end users like runners. We are not dealing with the top end. To deal with those at the top we need specialised units and lots of police officers. But, if we don’t get rid of the top end, we are never going to solve this problem.”
Pillay is concerned about what he believes are gaps in the system that allow drugs to make their way through our harbours, airports and borders: “Not enough is being done to ensure that this does not happen. There should be more resources deployed here. Right now there’s a free flow from manufacturing right down to the consumer.”
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane visited the Ramatlabama border control post in the North West, where two local police stations had seen increases in drug crimes during the past two years.
“These cross-border crimes, and specifically the drug trade, are destroying the lives of thousands of our young people... we need to secure our borders and fix our fences,” he said.