Cops to spray poison on dagga

Police are going to use helicopters to spray dagga fields in the former Transkei with poisonous chemicals again this year despite widespread opposition.

Eastern Cape police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci told Saturday Dispatch yesterday spraying would take place in the remote “hills and valleys” along the Mzintshana River near Port St Johns that were not easily accessible by road.

POLICE are going to use helicopters to spray dagga fields with a poisonous chemical.
POLICE are going to use helicopters to spray dagga fields with a poisonous chemical.

According to Soci, police would again use Round-up – a chemical that is “freely available at any hardware store” – to spray remote dagga plantations.

The decision has been slammed by eco and dagga activists who claim glysophates in the poison seriously impact flora, fauna and people. They say it has been banned all over the world.

In a letter to police last week from Ricky Stone of Boqwana Burns law firm, the Transkei Animal Welfare Initiative (TAWI), the Amapondo Children’s Project (ACP) and Fields of Green for All (FGFA) claimed using glysophates violated constitutional human rights.

They said since government started spraying over 20 years ago, extensive research had been done on the negative health and environmental impacts that had even recently resulted in the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring glysophates a grade two carcinogenic that “probably causes cancer”. They also question the environmental impact in a sensitive bio-diversity hotspot.

FGFA activist Jules Stobbs yesterday said police had replied to the letter and “told us all to f**k off, basically”.

The letter to police and other government departments said communities and farmers in the affected area had asked for help to prevent spraying and that they would get a court interdict if necessary and that 40000 “concerned citizens” supported their cause on social media.

They described spraying as “a crime against humanity” that violated environmental and other legislation.

Last year, when Saturday Dispatch broke the story, the newspaper was told of pilots spraying fields while people stood in them waving flags, and of livestock also being doused.

Although in contravention of manufacturer label warnings stating the area must be cleared first and people entering soon afterwards wear protective clothing, police said they couldn’t alert growers before as they would remove the crop.

The letter called for a suspension of spraying until an independent review was done and asked that they be provided with evidence of historical compliance to existing legislation.

According to Soci, dagga and other illegal drugs were a “difficult plague” to control worldwide.

She said drug abuse lead to other more serious crimes like rape, murder and robbery.

A statement said human life would not be in danger during spraying, only dagga plants would be affected and that glysophates were “not carcinogenic nor toxic to humans or animals”.

“Spraying has proven to be safe, cost-effective and a much larger area can be covered in a very short period of time. SAPS remain satisfied that our objective to keep this drug off the streets, is being adequately achieved through the process.” —


  1. There is no ‘to serve & protect’ when choosing to eradicate a beneficial plant, regardless of the supporting science. The only crime here is that committed by the SAP, destroying a medicinal plant with a lower potential for harm to self and society than sugar.

    Shameful and arrogant. Egg on your face SAP.

  2. If you still think spraying the environment with RoundUp #glyphosate in 2015 is the best solution to societies “drug problems” you are part of the problem.

    There is no difference between the time Alcohol was illegal in the US and they poisoned booze to deter people from using it.

    The difference however is that its not only the consumers who are poisoned (not that it could ever be justified) but also people, animals and the whole eco-system of the Transkei will be affected negatively.

    Last year an SAPS DaggaOps Air Wing pilot sprayed a cattle farmer and his heard with #glyphosate deliberately meanwhile they claim only dagga plants are ever touched with this cancer causing poison.

    While they are at it maybe they should poison illegal liqour & contraband cigarettes in effort to curb the sale and use while also advocating they are doing so for public safety.

    Are you outraged yet? No? Some people will watch as the Earth is burnt to the ground.

  3. Hi @Dagga Magazine

    What community initiatives can concerned citizens get involved in/with to protest the spraying of harmful chemicals in Transkei? Surely there are MPs that we can email to express how horrified we are and demand they stop this disgusting practice??

  4. Ja sure this works. From what I have heard dagga is impossible to get hold of anywhere in the country after they have finished spraying….. naaaat

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