Chetty’s ex-aide tells of drug deals

2008-10-06 00:00

A former employee of alleged Pietermaritzburg drug queen Ramjini Chetty testified in the regional court yesterday that she had “run away” from her employment because she smoked some of Chetty’s drugs and “got scared”.

Nicolene Marion told magistrate Chris van Vuuren she left around January 2003 after working for Chetty for six months.

During that period she sold cocaine and mandrax on Chetty’s behalf and accepted deliveries of drugs to Chetty’s Queen Street property.

She was once involved in fetching cocaine from a Nigerian dealer named Andy at The Workshop in Durban, and collected mandrax on Chetty’s behalf from co-accused Joyce Komane in Pietermaritzburg.

Marion said she saw Chetty “cutting” cocaine into pieces, which were wrapped in plastic for resale at R50 or R100 each.

They also sold quarter, half and full “jaws”, but she could not recall what the price was.

She said Chetty’s mother helped her when she sold drugs — cocaine and mandrax — at 21 Queen Street.

Marion testified that on average nights they would make between R3 000 and R5 000 and on busy nights up to R8 000.

During the day, the takings were between R2 000 to R3 000 daily, she estimated.

Marion testified that Chetty would hide cocaine in the heel of her sandals in her closet and inside the stand of an electric fan, and said mandrax was concealed in a steel pipe in the yard.

Chetty, Komane, Surychand Maharaj, Bongi Dlamini and Jessendren Pillay are on trial in connection with 36 charges, including two charges of racketeering, 25 of dealing in cocaine (or alternative charges of possessing cocaine or conspiracy to deal in the drug), seven counts of money laundering and one of fraud.

The state alleges that Chetty was the alleged leader or manager of the drug syndicate or “enterprise”.

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