Komane a drug dealer, runner tells court

2012-04-18 00:00

THE brother of a convicted Pietermaritzburg drug dealer, Ramjini Chetty, told the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday that businesswoman Joyce Komane was also dealing in drugs.

Gonaseelan Chetty (34) told the court that he started delivering drugs for his sister Ramjini when he was 17 years old.

He was also one of the state witnesses during the trial against Komane and Chetty for racketeering, drug dealing, money laundering and forgery.

“She used to send me to collect them in Durban’s Overport area. Later I started selling for her in the house in Queens Street. She introduced me to Komane. We drove to her house in Sobantu to collect mandrax.”

He said Komane would visit Ramjini’s house two or three times a week to collect the money from the mandrax.

“They would sit the lounge or in Ramjini’s bedroom and she would regularly give her the plastic bank bags with mandrax. And most of the time, Ramjini would ask me to hide them in a drain pipe outside the house or in shoes.”

Chetty was testifying in a civil matter in which Komane is opposing an application by the state to have her assets seized on the basis that they were purchased with proceeds from the sale of drugs. The assets include a flat, a house in Pelham and five cars, including a BMW, an Audi, and R40 000 bail money.

The case continues.

Chetty was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment for heading a drug syndicate operating from her two former homes in Queen Street.

Komane was convicted and sentenced for racketeering, drug dealing, money laundering and forgery, and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment by the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court.

She appealed the conviction and sentence before high court judges of appeal Anton van Zyl and Jerome Mnguni, who found that the state had failed to establish her guilt as a matter of certainty.

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