Janitor nabbed for dagga, codeine

2020-02-25 06:02
Codeine abuse is rampant in South Africa.

Codeine abuse is rampant in South Africa.

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The Grassy Park police in a joint operation with the local community policing forum (CPF) and neighbourhood watches, found codeine-containing Stilpane and dagga hidden in the backyard of a 62-year-old man’s house in Grassy Park on Saturday 15 February.

The man is apparently a janitor at a local high school. “Alarm bells started ringing as the scourge of the drug Lean formed by mixing the Stilpane with a fizzy drink is causing havoc among teenagers in the community. It has been reported that learners openly consume the concoction on school premises,” says Melvin Jonkers, chair of the CPF.

The Grassy Park CPF has been campaigning for some time now to have this medication re-classified so that its sale and use require a doctor’s prescription. “Recently, the police caught two brothers with a number of cases containing 240 bottles of codeine-containing cough medicine. It is clear that the problem is rife within the area. Both stashes come from the same manufacturer as identified by the batch numbers on the boxes. We will be approaching the pharmaceutical company to assist the police in identifying the peddlers,” he says. To make things worse, the son of the janitor and a friend were arrested on Monday 17 February, on the same premises with a stash of high grade dagga.

Bronagh Hammond, provincial spokesperson for the department of education, says the management of the school is not aware that the caretaker was distributing substances to learners. Meanwhile the CPF called on pharmacies to be strict with the sale of cough syrups. “Our community needs to be more proactive in eradicating drugs. During the joint operation, the neighbourhood watch members noticed a small plantation of dagga and police uprooted it. We depend on our community to report illegal activities,” he says.

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