Port Elizabeth – Police have spent three weeks spraying Eastern Cape dagga plantations with chemicals in a bid to “nip the problem in the bud”.
The SA Police Service’s national air wing sprayed the plantations with a herbicide called Kilo Max in the Lusikisiki area, national spokesman Solomon Makgale said in a statement on Thursday.
More than 500 hectares were sprayed using helicopters.
“Drugs have proven to be a very difficult plague to control, not only in South Africa, but throughout the world. These exercises literally nip the dagga problem in the bud,” he said.
Makgale said it was believed the dagga being grown in the area was for export, and that that type was one of the most sought after internationally.
During the operation “unknown people” distributed stickers saying “I love dagga” and pamphlets stating the method used to destroy the dagga was unsafe and detrimental to the environment, Makgale said.
But he said the dosage used was so small that it would only kill the dagga plant, not the surrounding natural vegetation.
“Fortunately, the majority of people in this area are sensible and in favour of us destroying the dagga plantations. Also, we will stop at nothing to ensure that we fulfil our legal, moral and constitutional obligation to combat all forms of crime,” he said.
No arrests had been made during the dagga-spraying exercise because specific people could not be identified.