Mmegi Online :: State mistake delays sentencing of SA drug peddler
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Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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State mistake delays sentencing of SA drug peddler

FRANCISTOWN: A mistake by the prosecution to record the correct weight of the dagga that a South African (SA) drug dealer was illegally found in possession of has led to the postponement of the manís sentencing.
By Lebogang Mosikare Tue 14 Feb 2017, 16:18 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: State mistake delays sentencing of SA drug peddler








The police nabbed the South African, Ishmael Ledwaba (38) of Soshanguve, Pretoria, on December 11, 2016, at the Thapama Hotel where he had parked his car.

The state case shows that he had hidden the dagga in various parts along the body of his Renault car before the police arrested him in a sting operation following a tip-off.

On Thursday before sentence was passed, Ledwaba told the court that the dagga that he was found in possession of was not his but belonged to a ‘big fish’ that is out in the streets enjoying its freedom while he is languishing in jail for something that is not his.

Ledwaba added that he had told the police about the owner of the dagga but they did not listen to him.

In response, Magistrate Dumisane Basupi said he has discovered that the measurement of the dagga that Ledwaba was illegally found in possession of was not correct in the charge sheet.

He therefore, said the prosecution should go and amend the charge sheet and record the correct weight of the cannabis before he can pass sentence.

“The punishment passed by the courts should match the gravity of the offence committed. It will be in the best interest of justice that the prosecution should come and give the court the correct weight of the dagga before

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the court can pass an appropriate sentence.”

“The accused was found in possession of dagga weighing close to 14kg. The law states that any person found in possession of dagga weighing less than 60 grammes should be fined P5,000 or be imprisoned to a maximum sentence of three years or less,” said Basupi.

He added that in Ledwaba’s case, he might consider dividing the 14kg of dagga that Ledwaba was found in possession of by 60g before passing an appropriate sentence.

“I am also worried about the big fish that the accused keeps on talking about. The prosecution should also bring the investigating officer to court to address the issue of the big fish which is said to be walking the streets freely before I pass the appropriate sentence,” said Basupi.

Basupi concluded: “The manner in which the dagga was hidden along the various parts of his Renault car’s body shows that the person who did so was a professional drug dealer.

He is not like people who are found holding small amounts of dagga in their pockets. In my view, the big fish that the accused keeps on talking about is him and nobody else. The accused shall come to court on February 20 for sentencing.”

Mompoloki Gaboiphiwe represents the state in the matter. The accused appears in person.

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