Cat­tle farmer (31) ar­rested for 143kg dagga

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Sandile Nkam­bule

THE il­le­gal trade and dagga posses­sion seem to be on the rise this fes­tive sea­son as hardly a week passes by with­out a per­son mak­ing an ap­pear­ance for il­le­gal dagga posses­sion in the coun­try’s courts.

Yes­ter­day, a 31-year-old man made an ap­pear­ance at the High Court where he had filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion for bail after be­ing ar­rested for be­ing in il­le­gal posses­sion of 143.3 kilo­grammes of dagga.

Sandile Cle­ment Mncina was ar­rested by the Mba­bane po­lice after be­ing nabbed with the weed at Eku­vin­jel­weni area on Tues­day.

The ap­pli­cant (Mncina) was ad­mit­ted to bail fixed at E15 000 by the court and was or­dered to pay E3 000 cash and E12 000 in the form of surety by Judge Mumcy Dlamini who warned him to ad­here to the bail con­di­tions.

Mncina, who was rep­re­sented by Mba­bane-based lawyer Sa­belo ‘Chicken’ Dlamini in his pa­pers sub­mit­ted that he was ar­rested by the Royal Eswa­tini Po­lice Ser­vice (REPS) from Mba­bane on Tues­day and sub­se­quently charged with the of­fence of con­tra­ven­ing the Phar­macy Act of 1929 for be­ing al­legedly found with the weed.

He sub­mit­ted that he is a cat­tle farmer and a bread­win­ner in his fam­ily of 13, which in­cludes his un­em­ployed wife and two mi­nor chil­dren.

“My par­ents are el­derly and sick with a chronic ill­ness and two of my neph­ews are school go­ing and I also have six sib­lings. As a cat­tle , my

con­tin­ued in­car­cer­a­tion will not only be detri­men­tal to my­self but also to the well-be­ing of my en­tire fam­ily,” he sub­mit­ted.

He pleaded with the court that the best in­ter­est of jus­tice favoured that he be af­forded the re­lief he sought in the no­tice of mo­tion, in par­tic­u­lar be­cause there is no prej­u­dice to be suf­fered by any­one as he is ad­vised and ver­ily be­lieves that the po­lice have com­pleted their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, Mncina is co-charged with 26-yearold Simisile Kunene and both ac­cused are fac­ing a to­tal of two counts, with the first count be­ing con­tra­ven­ing the Phar­macy Act by be­ing in il­le­gal posses­sion of the 143.3kg of dagga, while on the sec­ond count they are charged for con­tra­ven­ing the Opium and Habit Form­ing Drugs Act of 1922 as they were found in il­le­gal posses­sion of 2.0kg of dagga seeds.

How­ever, the sec­ond ac­cused per­son (Kunene) was ac­quit­ted and dis­charged by the Mba­bane Mag­is­trate’s Court, as Mncina in­di­cated that he will plead guilty to the charge at trial when his rights and pleas were put to him, while Kunene pleaded not guilty.

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