Today, the National Commissioner of the South African Police, General Fannie Masemola presided over the destruction of drugs worth a total of R800 million in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
These were drugs that were confiscated during day to day policing operations across the country.
They included, cocaine, heroine, mandrax and marijuana. This is the third drug destruction process in this financial year, the most recent destruction was in Cape Town in September where one-point-seven-tons to the value of 170-miliion rand was destroyed.
In the 2022/2023 financial year, twenty point eight tons of drugs with a street value of 2 billion rand was also destroyed. It is worth noting that in today’s destruction, the drugs that were destroyed were linked to a number of high profile cases including the following:
The Maydon Wharf case where more than one tonne of cocaine worth a street value of R400 million was seized. This drug bust happened in August 2022 when Ebrahim Kara, Elias Radebe and Meshack Ngobese were arrested in Cape Town after a truck transporting more than 600 blocks of cocaine was stopped by police and the drugs were discovered hidden in false wooden boards.
This matter was finalised and Kara was handed down an eight year sentence while Radebe and Ngobese were handed down one year and six years imprisonment sentences respectively.
1.3 tonnes in which illegal pharmaceuticals drugs/medicines in the form of tablets and capsules such as non-registered Viagra were confiscated in operations throughout the country.
All drugs confiscated by SAPS during operations are subjected to forensic testing on a regular basis by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory: Chemistry Section. These drug exhibit materials that were destroyed today were done so after a thorough process which followed the conclusion of a court order, confirming the finalisation of cases.
It is also worth noting that all drugs exhibit materials that were destructed were audited to ensure compliance to the set standard. General Fannie Masemola says through the organisations high density operations, police are making inroads in clamping down on the drug trade in the country and beyond.
General Fannie Masemola, said: “It is also encouraging that through OPERATION SHANELA, 15 thousand 400 suspects were arrested by our police officers for being in possession of drugs to date. Another 7000 were arrested for dealing in drugs. The recent drug confiscation of R150 million rand of cocaine in KwaZulu Natal also illustrates the cooperation between law enforcement agencies across the world in clamping down on transnational organised crime.”
“Indeed, our intelligence structures are hard at work in preventing and putting a stop to the drug trade in the country and beyond. This is also a clear demonstration that all stakeholders involved in border security are working together to tighten the control measures of cargo entering and departing our country”, concluded Gen Masemola.