Mandrax bust: farm owner fights court battle over forfeiture

2011-10-12 00:00

THe owner of a Ladysmith farm on which drying mandrax valued at R21 million was found is to ask the high court to refuse a state application to have the property forfeited.

Bhamu Thomas Ndaba, the owner of the farm, which is 12 km from Ladysmith, yesterday filed an application in the high court in Pietermaritzburg opposing the National Director of Public Prosecutions’ action to have his property of 8 094 square metres forfeited to the state.

Earlier the NDPP successfully applied to the court to order that the property be preserved.

In his application yesterday, Ndaba said that 95% of the preserved area is not an “instrumentality” of the drug production.

When police raided the farm Ndaba said the factory was manufacturing cattle feed.

However, three bags of anthlanallic acid — which is known as a constituent of methaqualone, the active ingredient of Mandrax — were found at the factory.

Three heaps of drying mandrax powder covering an area bigger than a double-bed were photographed in a shed.

The hearing of Ndaba’s application was postponed to a date to be fixed.

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