Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - Police in the Free State had to rush an alleged drug dealer to hospital after he swallowed mandrax tablets while fleeing and trying to get rid of the tablets, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, said on Monday.

Spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said investigators were on Friday probing a drug-dealing case and followed up on information about a drug delivery in Virginia. A vehicle was spotted and upon realising that the police were on his tail, the driver sped away.

"In an attempt to evade arrest the 55-year-old suspect rammed the police vehicle but he was arrested a short distance away. During the pursuit he threw away a large number of suspected mandrax into a stormwater drain," said Mulaudzi.

"He also swallowed some of the drugs and members were forced to contact the emergency services to take him to hospital. Members managed to retrieve a few mandrax tablets next to the stormwater drain and further tablets and white powder inside the vehicle." 

The man will appear in the Welkom Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of dealing in drugs and reckless driving.

In another separate case, the same investigators arrested two men aged 25 and 43 for allegedly dealing in drugs. Mulaudzi said the two were arrested on Friday during a search and seizure at two houses in Bronville and Welkom.

"At the first house, members managed to seize an assortment of drugs which included amongst other mandrax tablets and dagga worth over R70 000. Methcathinone, known as Cat and dagga worth about R45 000 were confiscated at the second house. Both suspects will also appear today [Monday] at the same court for dealing in drugs, further charges cannot be ruled out."

African News Agency/ANA