5000 arrested in fight against drugs

Gauteng authorities are progressing in the war on drugs.

Gauteng police's Neville Malila says authorities have arrested almost 5000 suspects for drug related crimes in under three weeks. Picture:EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police have arrested almost 5000 suspects for drug related crimes in less than three weeks, the police's Neville Malila said on Friday.

Malila said authorities confiscated almost 150 kilograms worth of various drugs including dagga, mandrax and nyaope.

Nyaope is a cocktail that includes heroin and marijuana and sometimes antiretroviral medication mixed with rat poison.

He said most of the arrests came after community members in different areas who were fed up with drugs contacted Crime Line and Crime Stop.

"We're not only after the users. We also want to arrest and clear out the manufacturers so we need that information."

Last month, Gauteng Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros says Crime Line has become one of the police's strongest weapons in fighting drug dealing.

He was speaking during the launch of Drug Watch, an initiative aimed at rooting out the source of drugs in Gauteng communities.

Petros stressed the importance of tip-offs from community members.

"It's the strongest weapon because the integration of the police will always be questioned so I think Crime Line as a source of giving information anonymously is the way to go."


On Wednesday, a warder at Pretoria Central Prison was arrested for his involvement in a drug smuggling syndicate.

The police's Katlego Mogale says the warder was arrested after police received a tip-off.

The warder was found with 49 sachets of Nyaope in his possession.

Meanwhile, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) told Eyewitness News last week's drug bust at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport was the largest single seizure of Tik by customs officials at any port of entry in South Africa.

The revenue service's Marika Muller said two women flying from Tanzania were handed over to police after being found in possession of over 150 kilograms of Tik worth about R43 million.