Sakhiseni Nxumalo, the Sowetan
South Africa is schizophrenia personified. Here we have the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Cyril Ramaphosa, pledging in Parliament to assist legacy cannabis farmers, yet in the last few days his troops have made life a misery for growers in Pongola, KwaZulu Natal. This is an alarming development as SAPS has been at the forefront of cannabis clampdowns, now the army is getting involved, and, to rub it in, is bragging about its success!
The Sowetan reported on 11 June 2023 that:
An undocumented Eswatini national was taken for questioning after a dagga plantation of almost half a hectare, with goods weighing 500kg at an estimated street value of R2.1m, was found in Pongola, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The SA National Defence Force said this was a huge success for the 7 South African Infantry Battalion after since operating in the area of KZN’s borders with Mozambique and Eswatini.
The SANDF said the unit conducted a joint operation with Pongola SAPS at one of the farms in Sitilo, Pongola over the weekend.
“During the operation, they found about 0.3 hectares of dagga plantation and an undocumented person from Eswatini. The Eswatini national was taken to Pongola SAPS for questioning. The dagga plantation was rooted out and it weighed 500kg with an estimated street value of R2.1m,” said SANDF.
KZN police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda confirmed the incident but said the police in Pongola recovered the dagga abandoned in a field near the N2.