Kimberley Dagga Bust – SAPS need to re-establish Narcotics Unit

Harold Mcgluwa MPL

DA Northern Cape – Provincial Chairperson

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the arrest of three men in Kimberley in connection to the astonishing 93.9 kg’s of dagga (marijuana) allegedly found in their possession. The drugs, with an estimated street value of R500 000, are an indication that greater amounts of drugs and money are exchanging criminal hands in the province.

Although we congratulate the South African Police Services (SAPS) for this bust, it is concerning that Kimberley is increasingly being seen by criminals as a hub for the trafficking or manufacturing of all types of illegal drugs.

According to the SAPS most recent crime statistics, the Northern Cape has seen a generally upward trend in drug-related offences, with drug-related crime having increased by 41.9% in the last three years.

Last year a raid of a house in Kirstenhof revealed the site of illegal drugs manufacture. The bust netted one suspect, and saw the confiscation of dangerous drugs, such as tik and khat, including the equipment used to manufacture such drugs.

Its concerning that SAPS also found equipment used to illegally access their police radio communications. Criminals involved in the manufacture and trafficking of dangerous illegal drugs are clearly becoming more organized and sophisticated.

This bust is only the tip of the iceberg, and demands the SAPS re-establish the specialized anti-drug unit, which was known as the Narcotics Unit.

International best practice in law enforcement, advocates for the need for specialized drug-units, and the data suggests that countries with such units have higher success rates than those that don’t, like South Africa.

The DA is of the express view that a policy shift, real action and leadership within SAPS is needed. Re-establish the Narcotics Unit, and give citizens the drug-free South Africa they deserve to live in.

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