Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The DA welcomes the arrest of three suspected drug traffickers, including a policeman and a SARS customs official, at the Lebombo Border Post near Komatipoort this week, and call on the SAPS to increase their crack-down on criminal officers.
The policeman and the official were allegedly in cahoots with a taxi driver who was allegedly trying to smuggle R3 million worth of cocaine in his vehicle.
Mpumalanga borders two countries and the N4 Maputo Corridor running through it, has become a hotspot for drug smugglers and dealers. This in turn has contributed to a drastic escalation of substance abuse, with some Mpumalanga towns along this route facing a drug crisis.
While officers of the state should be policing our borders and eliminating this evil, it is unthinkable that those same officers could actually involve themselves in the facilitating of drug movements into our province and country.
Drug addictions are destroying thousands of young lives in our province, tearing families apart, and forcing helpless parents into desperation to save their children.
As such any state employees contributing to such criminal activity must face the full might of the law, and the DA urges authorities to crack down on corrupt cops and officials who abuse their position for self-enrichment through criminal activities. We also call for improved and reinforced border security and the re-establishment of SANAB (South African Narcotics Bureau).
As long as drug trafficking and usage persists in the province, the safety of our people will remain compromised. An increase in drug abuse not only threatens economic and social development, it also threatens the core of our future – our children.