The Hawks spokesperson in the province, Tlangelani Rikhotso, tells OFM News the suspects who are between the ages of 28 and 49 include an alleged dagga dealer who has been linked to many such cases previously and was even declared “an undesirable person in the country” at one stage. She further adds the green-house was discovered by authorities in Assen over 60km outside Brits.
According to Rikhotso, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation received information on the drug lab and a search warrant was issued as a result. The directorate’s organised crime unit searched the property and found about “148 dagga plants, 24 bags containing processed dagga in an air-conditioned room and more processed dagga bags were found in the house and in the ceiling”. The three suspects will only appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Monday 25 November where they will each face charges of cultivating and dealing in dagga.
Earlier in November, the South African Police Service (SAPS) issued a stern warning to the public, reminding them the Constitutional Court judgment handed down on 18 September 2018 last year stipulates that private cannabis consumption for persons above the age of eighteen is legal, but dealing in cannabis will still get you in trouble with the law.
SAPS spokesperson, Vishnu Naidoo, said in a joint statement by the police and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) in early November 2019 that “the effect of the judgment is that only an adult person, 18 years and older, may use, possess or cultivate cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption in private. The use, including smoking of cannabis in public or in the presence of children or in the presence of non-consenting adult persons, is not allowed. The use or possession of cannabis in private, other than by an adult for his or her personal consumption, is also not permitted”.
OFM News/OLEBOGENG MOTSE