Alleged drug suspects out on bail

2017-07-13 06:01
 Photo: andile sitholeThe residents, DA councillors and supporters protesting outside Verulam Magistrate’s court.

Photo: andile sitholeThe residents, DA councillors and supporters protesting outside Verulam Magistrate’s court.

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SIX suspects, charged with allegedly dealing in drugs, were granted­ bail of R5 000 each in the Verulam Magistrate’s court on Monday, July 3.

The suspects, three men and three women from Phoenix, were arrested last month after being charged with allegedly dealing in drugs in Phoenix.

The main suspect Gonaseelan Nadasen and his co-accused were arrested for dealing in heroin and Mandrax.

The lawyer representing the six told the court that the first suspect owns a property and his son - one of the suspects - is the beneficiary.

SAPS had initially proposed that a maximum bail application should not be less than R50 000 for each suspect.

The defence opposed the proposal saying “it was entirely unrealistic” to grant the accused such an amount.

The magistrate also rejected a proposal by the SAPS to grant the suspects bail not less than R50 000 each.

The magistrate said bail was not a fine, rather it ensured that the suspects come back to court. “I am confident that these suspects will come back to court. I heard that there were political parties [opposing bail], the drugs problem in Phoenix has been there for years. It didn’t start yesterday. Authorities need to address the issue. I have no doubt that the accused will attend the trial,” said the magistrate.

It is alleged that Nadasan used to manufacture drugs such as Mandrax and cocaine at his house in Phoenix.

However, the magistrate was concerned about the evidence of the SAPS accusing Nadasan of manufacturing drugs.

The magistrate said there was nothing that proved the substances found at the suspect’s house were drugs.

The state responded and said the information presented in court was collected based on the experience of the investigating officer that the alleged substance found were drugs.

Residents and DA supporters staged a protest outside court opposing bail application.

Ward 49 councillor Tino Pillay said: “I was really surprised at the bail application amount issued to the accused [Nadasen] and his co-accused.

“The DA took a stand in Phoenix last month on Youth Day to fight the scourge of drugs in our community and handed a memorandum to the local SAPS demanding intervention. After some successful sting operations, the SAPS have made some good arrests.

“Although we understand there is a process to follow, but I strongly feel the wrong message is being sent out to our community hence the reason why people lose faith in the justice system. The DA and the community of Phoenix will continue to fight the good fight of eradicating drugs in our once-safe environment.”

Residents from Tongaat and surroundings took park in the protest, opposing bail for the six suspects. The carried placards with messages condemning drugs and social ills in the community. The protesters gathered outside court in the morning and protested for three hours.

The case was adjourned to September 4 for further investigation.

 

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