‘Illegal drug dealing is high in the city’: Inside Tshwane’s war on drugs

‘Wherever there are people‚ there are drugs and people selling them’

17 February 2023 - 08:50
By Sinesipho Schrieber
Police arrested three men suspected of manufacturing drugs in a complex in Centurion.
Image: Supplied Police arrested three men suspected of manufacturing drugs in a complex in Centurion.

The drug problem affects most communities in SA‚ from rural communities to enclosed upmarket private estates. Killings over drug territories also continue to torment families.

There have been several successful drug busts by police and metro police in Tshwane in recent months‚ with illegal substances seen as a major concern.

“Drug dealing is a serious problem in the city. It is quite high in the city like in most cities.

“We have had seven or eight drug busts in just a couple of months and in all of those we found drugs worth high amounts‚” Tshwane MMC for community safety Grandi Theunissen told Sowetans sister publication TimesLIVE.

Theunissen said the municipality had a “zero tolerance” policy for drugs‚ adding that “every time we go for a bust‚ we go for the dealers”.

He said drugs affected youth development.

“Drugs are ruining the lives of innocent people and for us to protect our people and the youth‚ we must get the drug dealers arrested and duly charged. That is where our focus is‚ we must get rid of the drugs in the city.”

A few days before Christmas‚ metro police arrested four people at a business that fronted as a bakery in Hammanskraal. R550‚000 worth of drugs including heroin‚ crystal meth and cat were found.

In July 2021‚ Pretoria was in the spotlight after 800kg of compressed pure cocaine was found hidden in a haul of a ski-boat being towed by car.

The Hawks estimated that the drugs were worth R400m. The drugs were allegedly being moved from a Kyalami private estate in Midrand‚ to a house in an upmarket estate in Pretoria east.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Johan van Dyk told TimesLIVE police nabbed drug users or dealers daily.

On Wednesday morning‚ police arrested three men‚ aged between 30 and 35‚ at a “drug manufacturer” in a residential complex in Wierdabrug‚ Centurion.

Van Dyk said police had been watching the property for some time before the raid.

“Several chemicals and equipment being used to manufacture narcotics were found. In one vehicle and a container we found crystal meth with an estimated street value of R4‚000.”

He confirmed three suspects were charged for dealing with narcotics‚ manufacturing of suspected drugs and for being in the country illegally.

“One of the suspects is allegedly involved in human trafficking and all information and leads will be followed up.”

Van Dyk said crime intelligence were conducting probes to get to drug kingpins.

“Wherever there are people‚ there are drugs and people selling them. This is the same case in Tshwane.

“On a daily basis we have operations to tackle this problem and we are targeting the suppliers of drugs.”

Van Dyk said the police could not work alone in eradicating drugs but needed the assistance of the community.

“When the dealer is arrested the kingpin gets another dealer to work for him. It is an ongoing thing. We have crime intelligence that is focusing on the drugs in Tshwane .”

Some communities allege well established drug dealers have ties with police and thus resort to not reporting crime.

Van Dyk urged residents to anonymously report corrupt officers.

“We do investigate these reports and we have in the past arrested officers found guilty of corruption.” - TimesLIVE