Drug queen convicted again

2009-11-03 00:00

DRUG queen Ramjini Chetty — who is already serving 24 years behind bars for running a drug syndicate — and her son, Bradwyn Ricardo Sewduth, pleaded guilty yesterday to further charges of dealing in cocaine, and admitted having sold R17 200 worth of the drug to a police trap in 2007.

But in terms of a plea agreement reached with the state, Chetty was sentenced to 14 years’imprisonment, while Sewduth was given a wholly suspended sentence of eight years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay R20 000 into the Criminal Assets Recovery account.

The 14-year sentence imposed on Chetty was ordered to run concurrently with the sentence she is currently serving.

Regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren warned Sewduth that he must not think he is “walking out of court as a free man”.

“You have a suspended sentence hanging over you, and if you transgress in any way in the next five years you will end up in jail.”

He said that if Sewduth carried on dealing in drugs he would end up having the suspended sentence put into operation, and would face an additional sentence for whatever offence he was found guilty of.

Van Vuuren told Sewduth he is lucky not to be going to jail, as only the fact that a plea bargain was reached saved him from a prison sentence.

His advocate, Fanie Slabbert, said Chetty has admitted that she influenced her son into committing the crimes and is prepared to take full responsibility for the offences.

Van Vuuren told Chetty and Sewduth they are “weak” people who prey on the addiction of their victims.

“The motive for these crimes is purely money and greed. You prey on the weak and this shows what sort of people you are. You yourselves are weak,” he said.

In a statement handed to court, Chetty and Sewduth admitted having conspired with each other to deal in cocaine, and that on 12 occasions between August 21 and October 5, 2007, they sold cocaine to Troy Moegsien Ismail, who was a reservist constable in the SAPS at Newlands East.

Unbeknown to the accused, Ismail was employed by the Directorate of Special Operations in KZN to act as a trap to buy the cocaine at 19 Queen Street using marked money and/or pre-arranged amounts given to him.

In total, they admitted they had sold approximately 33 grams to the value of R17 200 to Ismail.

In July, Chetty was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment for heading a drug syndicate operating from her two former homes in Queen Street; her main cocaine supplier, Joyce Komane, was jailed for 18 years; and two drug runners, Surychand Maharaj and Bongi Dlamini, were each sentenced to an effective 12 years’ jail.

The court at that time described drug dealing as a “morally repugnant business” and said the perpetrators are aware of the pain and suffering they cause others.

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