The police’s seemingly undivided focus on the illegal trade in liquor and cigarettes amid lockdown, has resulted in the greater availability of hardcore drugs across the city.
After a recent shootout and the recovery of a vehicle containing drugs in Ladanna, a source who preferred to stay anonymous, confirmed that the availability of drugs on the street has increased since nationwide lockdown started.
It has become “relatively easy” to get hold of drugs, more so than usually, he said.
“I used to buy from a specific person in Westenburg, but now I don’t have to travel that far as there is literally someone on every second corner selling some type of drug.”
The drugs that are easily accessible include marijuana, nyoape, kat and butterscotch.
“There are signals that we use to find people who sell drugs. Usually the person you suspect to be selling will turn out to be the right person and a simple wipe of your nose will indicate what you’re looking for. For marijuana, rubbing the inside of your palm will get you your dealer.”
He indicated that sellers are usually found at taxi ranks and malls.
“It hardly happens that the person will be in possession of drugs only as they are usually disguised as someone selling sweets, cigarettes and smaller items,” he said.
He added that he has noted that the quality of the drugs is also not what it used to be. He believes this is linked to the increase of drugs on the street.
“It seems to me as if people are diluting the substances in order to have more to sell. This is dangerous for people who have not been addicted for long because they might not be able to tell the difference when they consume it.”
It is reported that no arrests have been made in connection with the recent incident in Ladanna.
Swift reaction from crime fighting structures in the city resulted in the recovery of a car containing a large quantity of drugs after a shootout on the corner of Witklip and Doornkraal streets.
The vehicle was found abandoned in River Street.
According to the Ladanna Community Policing Forum (CPF) Chairperson, Johan Duvenhage, he was alerted about the shootout and swiftly responded.
“I noticed a hatchback speeding away from the scene and gave chase. The suspects abandoned the vehicle in River Street and ran away. The car was subsequently searched and a large quantity of drugs was found inside,” Duvenhage said.
He added that blood spatter was also found in the car.
Duvenhage thanked crime fighters of the CPF, SPS High Risk Unit, Mighty Tactical Reaction Services and the police who responded swiftly.
Provincial Police Communications Head, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the police have been working tirelessly to seize drugs.
He indicated that a consolidated list of the drug statistics during lockdown is currently unavailable but the most recent arrests took place when they raided a clandestine drug lab on a farm outside Marble Hall.
“We confiscated drugs, drug manufacturing equipment and chemicals.” He said the statistics will be made available once they are ready.
Story: Umpha Manenzhe