Almost R90 million worth of drugs confiscated by the South African Police Service (SAPS) during operations have been destroyed.
National SA Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola presided over the destruction of drugs, which took place in Cape Town on Thursday morning.
In explaining the process, national police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said these are drugs that were confiscated during police operations - road blocks and tracing operations - in the Western and Eastern Cape.
These drugs include tik, cocaine, and mandrax.
“This is the fourth drug destruction process in this financial year.”
Mathe said the last drug destruction took place in Gauteng in October 2023, where R800 million worth of drugs were destroyed.
“In this financial year alone, close to R1 billion worth of drugs have been destroyed.”
She said in the 2022/2023 financial year, six tons of drugs worth R2 billion were destroyed.
The drugs destroyed on Thursday were from the following drug busts:
– Police seized R10 million worth of mandrax tablets from a truck in Vredenburg. In this case, four suspects were arrested. One of the suspects, Hosia Mbuluheni Mathono, has been sentenced to 15 years of direct imprisonment.
– Police seized R2.5 million worth of mandrax in Beaufort West. The accused has been sentenced to an effective 12 years behind bars.
– Also in Beaufort West, police seized R18 million worth of tik. The accused were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
– In Swellendam police seized R4.5 million worth of mandrax tablets. The accused was sentenced to five years behind bars.
During Thursday’s proceedings, Masemola said police were successful 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 detected 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.”