How a Soweto father of 7 became a convicted mandrax smuggler

2017-11-22 10:08
Bags of Mandrax tablets. (Supplied: SAPS)

Bags of Mandrax tablets. (Supplied: SAPS)

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Cape Town – On a Monday late last year, a father of seven who ran a transport company was approached by an acquaintance who asked him to drive a truck, which contained drugs, to Cape Town.

In exchange, Hosia Mathoho, 59, of Soweto, would make R40 000.

Fast forward a year later to Mathoho behind bars, serving an effective eight-year jail sentence.

The Cape Town Regional Court imposed the sentence on November 7 – less than a year after Mathoho agreed to drive the truck.

ALSO READ: 4 arrested in R7.5m Mandrax bust

He entered into a deal with the State in terms of which he pleaded guilty to dealing in 167 509 mandrax tablets, valued at R7 537 905.

It was Mathoho’s first offence.

The agreement with the State indicated that Mathoho showed remorse by pleading guilty.

He was arrested on November 28, 2016, and had been separated from his seven children since then. Four of them are young and dependent on him.

When he was taken into custody, Mathoho owned a transport business.

'His children have suffered'

"(He) was previously financially responsible for the support of his four young children, including caring for his deceased son’s three minor children. Because of his incarceration, he has not been able to earn any income. As a result, his children have suffered emotionally and financially," the plea agreement said.

"On his release from prison, he will have to start his life again."

The agreement revealed that in Johannesburg on November 28, 2016, an acquaintance, Jabu, asked Mathoho to transport drugs in his truck and bakkie to Cape Town.

Mathoho was then expected to hand over the drugs to someone Jabu knew in Cape Town.

He was to receive R20 000 on leaving Johannesburg and another R20 000 when he arrived in Cape Town.

Hidden drugs

However, police stopped the truck along the R45 in Vredenburg as well as a bakkie, which they suspected had been escorting the truck.

"They said drugs were found hidden behind a panel in the truck," the plea agreement stated.

Mathoho admitted the drugs were found hidden in the truck and that they were placed in forensic bags.

ALSO READ: Hawks arrest Cape Town law enforcement officer found with 'gang-linked' mandrax

"The accused admits that at all times he knew what he was doing was wrong and that he was committing an offence," the agreement said.

He was sentenced to 15 years in jail, of which seven were suspended for five years on condition that he was not again convicted of any offence under the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act.

The truck and bakkie used in transporting the drugs were forfeited to the State.

Aggravating factors taken into account included the seriousness of the crime.

Increase in huge drug consignments

"The offence is of a serious nature, societal impact is enormous, addiction to hardcore drugs like [mandrax] destroys family ties and the future of the affected individuals," the plea agreement said.

"Incidents of dealing in huge consignments of hardcore drugs have risen considerably recently."

It also stated that people who dealt in drugs enriched themselves "at the expense and misery of others who, in turn, become drug addicts who resort to violence and crime in order to feed their habit".

Earlier this month, Western Cape Hawks spokesperson Lloyd Ramovha said Mathoho had three co-accused, but added that the cases against them had been withdrawn.

He said Mathoho had also been declared unfit to possess a firearm.

ALSO READ: Limpopo cops arrest suspected drug lords and shut down Mandrax lab

Read more on:    cape town  |  narcotics  |  crime

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