Prison sentence for those caught with illegal poison

Experts on poisons, together with community policing forums across the country, have applauded the prison sentence recently handed out to Johannes Mashego in Heidelberg, Gauteng, for the illegal possession of the highly toxic pesticide, aldicarb.

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Also known by its original brand name Temik, aldicarb has been used extensively by criminals to poison household dogs before breaking into properties. Mashego received a two-year sentence, one of which was suspended for three years. According to Dr Gerhard Verdoorn of the Griffon Poison Information Centre (GPIC), this has now set a precedent for the many similar cases he expects to hear of in the future.

“The poisoning of dogs with aldicarb, and also with carbofuran, is a big problem,” he explained. “Many cases have been reported across the country. In Secunda alone, 87 dogs were poisoned over eight days.”It’s a view echoed by Servamus Safety and Security Magazine. These poisonings, it said, are part of an increasing trend of “chemical crimes” taking place in South Africa. The GPIC has informed community policing forums and police branches around the country of all the offences people can be charged with if found in the illegal possession of aldicarb.