Cocaine: no bail for 4

2015-03-23 00:00

FOUR alleged Pietermaritzburg cocaine dealers were denied bail by a Pietermaritzburg magistrate on Friday.

Four others facing similar charges have, however, been released on bail ranging from R700 to R10 000.

Magistrate Bessie du Preez ruled on Friday that it was not in the interests of justice to release Zainath “Shireen” Hutchinson (55), her son Faybian MacKay (32), Hoosen Mohamed Shaik Cassim (41), and ex-policeman Sagren Pillay (39).

However, she granted bail of R5 000 each to Samson MacKay (24) and pensioner Ramesh Mahabeer (68), based on their personal circumstances.

The court previously granted bail of R10 000 to Deon Gabagas and R700 to Zaheer Buckroodeen.

They were all arrested in February ­following a two-year undercover ­operation during which police agents were allegedly supplied with drugs by certain of the accused.

The smallest amount of cocaine listed on the charge sheets is 0,59 grams and the largest is 12,87 grams.

Hutchinson was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment (half of which was conditionally suspended) in connection with three counts of dealing in drugs on June 18, 2008.

After she served five years in prison, the remaining five years’ imprisonment were converted to correctional supervision on August 22, 2013.

The suspended sentence is still hanging over her. Du Preez said the state appears to have a strong case against her in the current case, where it is alleged she supplied a police agent with cocaine on four occasions.

In the circumstances she ruled that Hutchinson would be a flight risk if released, and said her release would create a public outcry and undermine the criminal justice system.

In the case of Faybian MacKay the court found the fact that he is already on bail for a similar charge in a pending case showed that he would continue to commit offences if given pail.

Du Preez said Hoosen Cassim was given a suspended sentence for possession of cocaine in 2013. He was given an opportunity to rehabilitate himself, yet is currently facing four serious charges of dealing in drugs. He was allegedly instrumental in supplying drugs to a police agent. His conduct showed contempt for the legal system, she said.

Du Preez ruled that Pillay, who is charged with being a “drug runner”, is a flight risk as he has no fixed assets or strong emotional ties.

All eight are due to appear in court again on March 26.

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