DRC President Joseph Kabila has directed security officials to destroy a marijuana plantation grown by his own guards. File picture: SAPS

Durban - A routine patrol for members of the Upper Tugela Borderline Control Unit ended in one of the biggest drug busts of the new year on Sunday when they saw a crop of marijuana – enough to yield two tons – growing in a backyard.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said the officers were passing through the Emmaus area of the Bergville district when they saw the plants.

“The plantation is estimated to yield approximately two tons of dagga which, when dried, would be valued at about R500 000,” said Zwane.

“It has been ripped up and stored and will be destroyed once the criminal case is finalised.”

Duduzile Zondo, 44, was arrested and appeared in the Bergville Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

She was released on a warning and is to appear in court again on February 24.

Zwane said Bergville was a hot spot for dagga production and distribution because of its proximity to Lesotho.

While provincial police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni commended the officers for the bust, Carol du Toit, the spokeswoman for the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, said more needed to be done to fight the problem of drugs.

“The police are investing a great deal of time, effort, and human resources to combat the drug problem in KwaZulu-Natal and they deserve to be commended.

“However, their resources are limited,” said Du Toit.

She said the government and communities needed to do more to shut down drug production operations, like that in Bergville.

“Drug abuse is everybody’s problem,” she said.

The Mercury