PMB drug queen sentenced to 24 years in prison

2009-07-10 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG drug queen Ramjini Chetty (40) will spend 24 years behind bars for heading her drug syndicate; her main cocaine supplier, Joyce Komane (48), was jailed effectively for 18 years and two drug runners, Surychand Maharaj (55) and Bongi Dlamini (26), were each sentenced to an effective 12 years’ imprisonment yesterday.

Regional court magistrate Chris van Vuuren ordered that each of them must serve two thirds of their effective jail terms before they can be considered for parole.

Jessendren Pillay, who was also an alleged drug runner, was acquitted as the court found there was no evidence of any actual drug dealing activity by him.

Komane was the only one of the four whose R40 000 bail was extended, after she was granted leave to appeal against her convictions and sentences. The court found there was no prospect that Chetty, Maharaj or Dlamini could succeed in an appeal.

Van Vuuren said each of the accused took part in a “morally repugnant business” knowing the consequences and pain and suffering it caused their clients.

He said society is “sick and tired of drug dealers” and those associated with their enterprises, and said the court would be failing in its duty if it did not send a clear message to all dealers, suppliers and runners of drugs that if they continued with their activities, they would end up in prison for a long time.

Van Vuuren said Chetty and Komane were in the business of preying on the weak purely out of “greed”.

Maharaj was a drug addict who “eked out a living” and did not profit from the drug deals personally, and Dlamini was a domestic worker employed by Chetty and was “earning her salary”.

Both Maharaj and Dlamini had previous convictions, but did not Turn to page 3

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