Drugs: from 100 years to scot-free

2009-06-10 00:00

PRETORIA — From 100 years to scot-free

That is the story of Claude Djadji, a Congolese citizen, who in 2005 received the heaviest sentence in South Africa’s history in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court for drug trafficking.

Magistrate Annemarie van der Merwe found him guilty on four charges of drug trafficking. After public prosecutor Kees Gouws led evidence of severely aggravating circumstances relating to the magnitude of the drug business in Nelspruit, Van der Merwe sent Djadji to jail for 25 years on each count.

She did, however, order that three of those sentences should run concurrently, which meant that Djadji would have had to spend 50 years in prison.

Because of the length of the sentence, the case had to be submitted to the high court in Pretoria for ratification (or otherwise) by a judge of that court.

Gerrie Prinsloo, chief registrar of the high court, yesterday confirmed that Djadi’s case was taken under review by not one, but a full bench of three judges.

Judges E. Bertelsmann, D. Basson and H. Mahafala unaninously set aside both the guilty verdicts on all four charges and consequently also the sentences.

The reasons for their decision have not been made known.

A spokesperson for the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court has confirmed that the judges’ order was received and that Djadji has already been released from prison. “He is now free to come and go as he wishes.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.