Charges dropped for Uthukela ex-mayor

2011-07-27 00:00

CHARGES of possession of illegal firearms and suspicion of dealing in gold and diamonds were withdrawn against seven KwaZulu-Natal men in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela confirmed on Monday that former Uthukela district mayor Stanley Dladla was among the men.

Polela said the men were allegedly preparing a diamond and gold deal with a Nigerian national, who escaped when he saw the police. The rest of the group were arrested in Sunnyside, Pretoria, on Thursday and appeared in court on Monday.

Firearms and ammunition allegely found in their three vehicles were not licensed.

A jewellery cleaning chemical and diamond weighing scale were also allegedly found in one of the vehicles.

The police could not provide details of the incident and the outcome of the hearing when The Witness published the story yesterday.

Yesterday Sunnyside police spokesperson Warrant Officer Asnath Malatsi said the court has withdrawn all charges because there is no prospect of a successful conviction.

“The chemical and scale were not in their possession so there was no solid case against them.

“On the firearms, one man came to the police station and produced the licences. As citizens of the republic they should know that it was against the Firearms Act to leave firearms unattended and they should always carry their licences with them.”

Although the charges were withdrawn the firearms were taken for ballistic tests to ascertain if they have been linked to crimes, said Malatsi.

Attempts to get hold of Dladla for comment were unsuccessful. His cellphone was on voicemail and it would not take messages as the mailbox was full.

Uthukela District Mayor Councillor Dudu Mazibuko said Dladla was on leave.

— Witness Reporter.

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