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The Shadow Side of Rehab: Murder Charges Laid After Canadian Dies During Opioid Treatment at Durban ‘Clinic’

The Shadow Side of Rehab: Murder Charges Laid After Canadian Dies During Opioid Treatment at Durban ‘Clinic’

Westville dentist Anwar Mohamed Jeewa is facing murder charges after one of his patients succumbed at his clinic from opioid withdrawal. A subsequent police raid on the unregistered drug and alcohol treatment/detoxification facility, revealed not only ibogaine, but heroin, tik and cannabis on the premises.

Anelisa Kubheka

23 April 2024 at 05:00:00

This report from IOL online, first published on 19 April 2024.


A murder trial is underway in the Durban High Court where retired Hawks head Lieutenant-Colonel Anton Booysen gave evidence following the death of Milos Martinovic in 2017.


Booysen was giving evidence as the investigating officer in the trial against dentist Anwar Mohamed Jeewa, who has been charged with the murder of Milos Martinovic.


Martinovic was a Canadian and French citizen addicted to Oxycontin (an opiate) and Xanax (known as alprazolam).

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine medication commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorder.


Jeewa had a permit to import Tabermanthe Iboga (dry plant material) from Goban to South Africa, which he did regularly.


He used the dry plant material to manufacture preparations containing ibogaine, which the State alleges he had no licence to do.


In November 2017, Martinovic travelled to South Africa and on arrival at the centre, Minds Alive, he was in possession of an unknown number of OxyContini tablets and several boxes of Xanax which the State alleges Jeewa allowed him to keep.


It is alleged that Jeewa instructed Martinovic to continue taking the tablets he had allowed him to keep to avoid withdrawal symptoms.


It is alleged that on the night of November 7, Martinovic was given three to four separate doses of ibogaine capsules by a nurse. Ibogaine is contraindicated for the treatment of addiction to benzodiazepines.


The chances of fatality are increased when benzodiazepines or opiates are taken together with other substances. The State alleges that Jeewa was aware of this.


“Several items were seized including scheduled medicines and illicit drugs, those being tik, heroin and cannabis,” said Booysen.


He said the centre was raided on November 17, 2017, following an application for a search warrant of the premises that the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court had granted.


“Also seized were CCTV cameras at various places, including the bedrooms of the patients as well as a purple plastic file which was the patient admissions file. The medication and drugs were forwarded to the forensic science lab in Pretoria and the digital evidence was forwarded to the forensic digital laboratory.


“The patient file was kept by me under lock and key pending further investigation from there on,” Booysen told the court.


He said that while at the centre he was concerned when he saw a doctor’s prescription pad with signed pages.

He said he saw the need to apply for a search-and-seizure warrant for Jeewa’s home, as he was concerned that he might continue treating patients and sourcing more ibogaine.


On December 22, 2017, police raided Jeewa’s home and on arrival asked him if he had anything he wanted to tell them. He admitted to having ibogaine at his home.


Booysen said when they asked Jeewa if he had a permit for the ibogaine, he said he did but it was at his facility and they headed there.


He told the court that while on the driveway of the facility, he noticed the house next door to be derelict with no direct entrance to it. But there was a pedestrian gate from the facility to the house.


Booysen said he noticed a lot of activity at the house on the morning they raided the facility.


He said after verbalising his curiosity about the house next door while in the car, Jeewa said while police did not have a warrant they were welcome to search the house.


Booysen told the court that Jeewa had told police that the derelict house was where he manufactured his ibogaine.


The trial continues.


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