Pastor on bail over R1 mln medicines

2011-03-16 00:00

CHURCH of the Holy Ghost leader Cyril Mhlonipheni Ngcobo was granted R6 000 bail and his case was postponed to June 24 at the Hammarsdale Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Ngcobo was charged with contravening the Medicines Control Act after a consignment of medicine worth R1 million was found in his office at the church on Friday.

State prosecutor Nokuthula Nkosi opposed bail on Monday, saying the police are still investigating.

Nkosi opposed bail, but asked that it be set at R10 000 and that Ngcobo be forbidden to communicate with people working at City Medicals, a pharmaceuticals supplier in Johannesburg, or Dr D. Gumede, whose name was found in one of the computers confiscated from Ngcobo on Friday.

Confiscated boxes bore health department stamps and others were linked to City Medicals, but the alleged link is not clear as no evidence was led by the investigator.

The defence team objected to bail of R10 000, saying Ngcobo’s salary is R6 000, with which he supports a wife, who is a student nurse, and a child.

Magistrate Emmanuel Miya set bail at R6 000 and forbade him to visit City Medicals.

He must remain at his current address.

City Medicals spokesperson Ziyaad Gani said they have not lost any medicines.

“I’ve heard about this from other pharmacists, but the discovered consignment is not ours.

“We don’t deliver medication in bulk and we only supply private practitioners,” he said.

A freelance photographer, who took Ngcobo’s photograph for The Witness, was nearly attacked by the accused’s followers when he photographed them at court. “Who told you to take our photographs? You’ll regret this, do you hear me,” said an elderly man.

A younger member of the church threatenend to smash the photographer’s equipment.

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