MAXINE TWADDLE

A University of Pretoria employee has been suspended following his arrest for allegedly manufacturing drugs.

UP confirmed that the man is a Senior Technical Assistant for the Department of Chemistry. He has held the position for four years.

The suspect may not be named in order to protect the identity of his daughter, who allegedly assisted him in manufacturing the drugs. According to a Times Live article, the Hawks found the 15-year-old girl mixing chemicals when they raided the suspect’s home in Pretoria East. She was not arrested. The suspect allegedly bought the necessary chemicals in bulk in the UP chemistry department’s name. According to Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela, they have the corroborating receipts in their possession.

Police confiscated R20 million worth of methaqualone (more commonly known as mandrax) during the raid on Saturday 21 July. It is unclear to whom the drugs were sold. Police cannot confirm that they were distributed on any of the UP campuses. It is also not clear if they were sold to any students. Although the man apparently admitted to selling the drugs to a dealer, he would not disclose this dealer’s name.

According to Nicolize Mulder, Media Liaison Officer for UP, the university has launched an internal investigation into the incident. “The university will give its cooperation to the investigation by the South African Police Service,” she said.

The suspect faces charges of manufacturing, possessing and dealing drugs. He remains in custody and his bail application will be heard in the Cullinan Magistrate’s Court today.

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