Greytown magistrate warns drug dealers

2016-10-12 06:00

GREYTOWN Magistrate Mr C.J. Masikane sent a loud and clear message to drug dealers in the area when last week he sentenced a local drug dealer, Dlomono Dlamini, to 14 years’ imprisonment.

In August, Dlamini and his girlfriend were arrested at his Enhlalakahle home. The Pietermaritzburg Dog Unit searched his house and recovered a large assortment of drugs, including whoonga, mandrax and ecstasy. More than 1 000 straws of whoonga and more than 50 tablets of mandrax and ecstasy tablets were recovered.

At the trial last week in the Greytown Magistrate's Court, Dlamini's girlfriend was found not guilty. He was found guilty on three counts of dealing in drugs and sentenced to 14 years’ direct imprisonment.

The accused admitted to having drugs in his possession, but claimed he was not a dealer, however, the court was not convinced.

In his summing up, and in a statement to the Greytown Gazette, the magistrate said youths must realise that the impact of dangerous drugs is negative and destructive and that drugs in Enhlalakahle was a "big social evil".

The magistrate said that using drugs destroys our youth and leads them to steal from their families and others to obtain money to buy more drugs.

The magistrate expressed his concern at the high rate of drug abuse, which leads not only to youth dropping out of school, but also to committing serious offences either because they were so high on drugs they did not realise what they were doing or they needed money to purchase more.

His attitude in regard to drug dealing and abuse was one of “zero tolerance”, and he wants this message to be sent out loud and clear to drug dealers who make money by ruining people's lives by selling these destructive products.

After the magistrate had pronounced the sentence of 14 years, the accused's attorney applied for leave to appeal. Magistrate Masikane, however, refused to grant this on the grounds that another court would not have come to a different decision.

Health24 states: “Whoonga is a highly addictive, dangerous and destructive street drug, unique to South Africa. Both heroin and dagga are the main narcotic ingredients, but it is not always clear what whoonga consists of and it varies from place to place.

“However, it is said to be a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs, milk powder rat poison, bicarbonate of soda and pool cleaner. Users claim they can go for days without eating when on this drug.

“A single hit can cost as little as R30 for a parcel or straw and is smoked by heating the cocktail of ingredients and inhaling the fumes.

“Experts say just using it once is enough to get users hooked - similar to heroin addiction."

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