Judge rules on mandrax farm

2007-12-15 00:00

A Pietermaritzburg high court judge has authorised the forfeiture of a portion of a farm in Newcastle, Spitskop, where mandrax was being manufactured during 2004.

He said it was common cause that drugs in the form of mandrax "in large quantities" were manufactured on the premises. It was plausible to infer from the state of pots and equipment found by the police and the presence of R69 000 cash on the farm, that the drugs were manufactured there for a considerable period Judge Chris Nicholson said in a reserved judgment handed down yesterday.

The portion of the farm forfeited is 1 242 096 hectares.

The owner of the farm, Samuel Africa Mazibuko, told the court he paid R300 000 for the farmland between the end of 2002 and January 2003. He denied all knowledge of the drug manufacturing operation.

Mazibuko claimed that he had leased the farm to Tanyani Justice Makhunga, whom he had known since he was a boy in order to run cattle and produce manure.

Judge Nicholson said he was surprised by evidence that Makhunga, an erstwhile taxi driver, paid the agreed annual R10 000 rental "up front" within a week and that there was no paperwork to substantiate it. In fact Mazibuko did no paperwork for the farm at all.

"All this points to the farming operation being a front for the drug manufacturing exercise," the judge said.

Nor had Makhunga brought any cattle to the farm at all.

Nicholson said the only inference to be drawn was that Mazibuko was either involved directly in or acquiesced to the manufacture of the drugs.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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.


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.