Police over the weekend arrested an elderly man after dagga worth R25 000 was found on the premises of the Seawinds educare.
The principal of the Hope Lives Here Educare, Catherine “Cathy” le Roux, 54, says she had been renting the space from home owner Raymond Phillips for the past six months, not knowing he was allegedly a dagga merchant.
Muizenberg police swooped on the house in St Patricks Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
Captain FC van Wyk says a large amount of weed was discovered under the built-in cupboards in the kitchen.
“The owner of the residence, a 56-year-old male, was present during the search and the police confiscated a total of 36 parcels of dagga, 28 bankies and 22 sticks of dagga,” he says.
“The owner was subsequently arrested and charged for dealing in narcotics.”
Phillips appeared at the Muizenberg Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he was released on R2 000 bail.
He is due back in court on June 22.
Meanwhile, the creche, which police say was not registered, has been shut down.
Catherine insists she is registered, however, the Department of Social Development has moved the 27 little ones to other creches in the area.
Catherine says Phillips’ wife was a friend, and she rented the space from them in January.
But she started suspecting something was wrong “because there were always people going in and out”.
“When I asked [the wife] if they were selling things, she said her husband used to be ‘in the business’ but that it didn’t happen anymore.”
After his arrest, she went to confront the wife, who was “a bit off” with her, and who accused her of calling the cops.
Mom Miescka Davids, 24, whose five-year-old son attends the crèche, says she noticed niks.
“I trust Cathy, she is very good with the children and I believe she wouldn’t put them in danger,” she says.
Spokesperson for the Department of Social Development, Sihle Ngobese, says they welcome the arrest.
“The department sent out a team of social workers to the facility to investigate, and the children at the unregistered facility were immediately moved out of the ECD, and placed in neighbouring facilities,” he says.