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vil­lagers and de­stroys sta­ple crops such as maize, which are grown for food and in­come.

In a let­ter to the SAPS on Jan­uary 7, lawyers for an al­liance in­volv­ing the Transkei An­i­mal Wel­fare Ini­tia­tive, the Amapondo Chil­dren’s Pro­ject and pro-cannabis or­gan­i­sa­tion Field of Green For All, said they would go to court if spray­ing took place with­out proper re­search into the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the chem­i­cals.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion last year clas­si­fied glyphosate as a Grade 2A car­cino­gen, which “prob­a­bly” causes can­cer.

In Colom­bia, where coca plants used in co­caine pro­duc­tion used to be sprayed, glyphosate use was stopped last year be­cause of health con­cerns. Sev­eral UN con­ven­tions now con­sider the wide spray­ing of harm­ful chem­i­cals a hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion.

The spray­ing, South African lawyers say, vi­o­lates the Con­sti­tu­tion. They claim the po­lice’s aerial teams have pre­vi­ously not warned com­mu­ni­ties they were plan­ning to spray, so that they could avoid harm.

They have asked for a writ­ten break­down of what steps are be­ing taken to com­ply with health reg­u­la­tions,

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