'Skeem Saam' actor Paul Sewetsi and co-accused in court for allegedly selling illicit cigarettes

Actor Paul Sewetsi in the dock in the Polokwane Magistrates Court.
Actor Paul Sewetsi in the dock in the Polokwane Magistrates Court.
Russel Molefe/News24
  • Paul Sewetsi, who starred in popular soapie Skeem Saam, wasn't acting when he appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
  • Sewetsi was one of five people arrested for allegedly selling illicit cigarettes.
  • Three of the accused were granted bail, while the remaining pair was remanded in custody. 


Paul Sewetsi, TV and radio drama actor, and four other people appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Three were granted bail, and two remanded in custody, after they were arrested for allegedly selling illicit cigarettes this week.

Sewetsi, Charles Kgomo, Jackson Ika, Portia Ndou and Brown Makumbe were arrested in an early morning operation by the Hawks on Wednesday after a tip-off from members of the public.

READ | Covid-19 UIF fraud: 5 accused granted bail

The actor, 44, Kgomo, 43, and Ika, 41, were each granted R1 000 bail.

Nodu, 32, and Makumbe, 40, were remanded in custody as another charge of contravening the Immigration Act was added. They will appear again on 17 July for a formal bail application.

The accused will then all appear in court again on 5 October 2020.

Bail

Each accused appeared separately before magistrate Janine Ungra.

The state first suggested to Ungra that bail for Sewetsi, who portrays a pastor on Skeem Saam, be set at R3 000.

But Ungra questioned why the state wanted Sewetsi's bail set higher when his co-accused were granted bail of R1 000 each.

She also wanted to know how many cigarettes were in his possession.

READ | Covid-19: Recruitment of police trainees grinds to a halt

The court was told that Sewetsi was found in possession of 10 packets of Remington Gold cigarettes, worth R267.

In total, the Hawks seized 45 cartons, worth R12 000.

A cash amount of R9 681 was also confiscated.

Hawks provincial spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke told News24 outside the court that officers would continue with operations.

"There is a problem of illicit cigarettes. We also have to deal with those who are importing illicit cigarettes.

"It is high time that South Africans should learn to know that they should not be found to be on the wrong side of the law," Maluleke said.

The sale of cigarettes under Level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown has been banned by regulations set out in the Disaster Management Act.

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