Drugs destroyed included those recovered in three major busts at Durban Harbour, one at OR Tambo and another from a vehicle from Mozambique.

About five tonnes of drugs worth an estimated R550 million were destroyed on Wednesday.

The drugs were confiscated during police operations in six provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga.

PICS: Police destroy drugs worth R90 million in Cape Town

They include cocaine, heroin, mandrax and cannabis.

Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola oversaw this, the fifth drug destruction process in this financial year.

Spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe told The Citizen this occurred in an undisclosed location in Gauteng.

Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola (right) oversees the operation. Photo: Supplied

“In this financial year alone, more than one billion rand worth of drugs have been destroyed,” she said.

In the 2022/2023 financial year, six tonnes of drugs were seized and destroyed, with a value of R2 billion. From October to date, police have intercepted four massive drug consignments. Three were in Durban, while one was in Gqeberha.”

She said cocaine worth R365 million was seized during these busts.

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“The most recent massive drug bust was on the, 4th December 2023, at the Durban Harbour, where 433 blocks of cocaine with a street value of R151 million was intercepted and found disguised in meat boxes.

“Just last week, R90 million worth of drugs seized during operations in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces were destroyed in Cape Town.”

Masemola said 131 clandestine laboratories have been shut down by police since 2019.

Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola (right) oversees the operation. Photo: Supplied

“Our members are working hard to remove drugs off our streets as they are able to intercept drugs coming into the country and within our country, and that speaks to the capabilities of our crime intelligence and vigilance of our operational members,” he said.

“We also appreciate the tip-offs from community members that we continue to receive that assist us in intercepting these drugs.

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“During the festive season alone, more than 19 000 suspects were arrested for being in possession of drugs. We will continue to do our best to deal decisively with drug dealers and peddlers,” said Masemola.

Mathe said the destruction of the drugs is indicative of “relentless efforts of our men and women in blue” in removing drugs, which destroy lives and livelihoods.

Photo: Supplied

Some of the drugs that were destroyed include those that were seized during the following drug busts:

• A Durban Harbour case where 700kg of cannabis worth a street value of R21 million was seized

• A Durban Harbour case where 530kg of cocaine worth an estimated street value of R185 million was seized

• A Durban Harbour case where 223kg tablets containing fenethyllin, which is a nervous system stimulant worth R17,5 million was seized

• 652kg of Mandrax tablets worth R98 million, which were confiscated at a clandestine laboratory

• Heroine worth a street value of R28 million was found when vehicles travelling from Mozambique to SA were stopped and searched, and the heroine was found concealed in the vehicle compartments. One accused was sentenced to five years of imprisonment.

• Drugs confiscated at OR Tambo International Airport worth R17 million

“Through Operation Shanela, members of the SAPS continue to make it difficult for criminals to operate by sniffing them out from every corner of this country,” Mathe said.

Photo: Supplied


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