Three suspects aged between 33 and 41 appeared at the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday 26 September 2023 on charges of dealing in dagga, one with an additional charge of contravention of the Immigration Act.
The two males and one female were arrested by members of the Police from Mahamba SAPS in two separate incidents whilst traveling along the N2 Road near Piet Retief.
In the first incident, members received information about a person spotted with suspicious luggage walking next to the road. The men and women in Blue responded swiftly by making a follow-up whereby the man was found hitchhiking and carrying a blue bag containing four plastic bags. The luggage was further wrapped with some sellotapes.
After searching the bag, police discovered that the man (41) from the Kingdom of eSwatini had concealed dagga weighing at about 5,146 kilograms inside the luggage. The estimated street value of the dagga is about R7719-00. He was then arrested and charged for dealing in dagga. He was also charged for contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa after police discovered that he does not have valid documentation to be in the country. On that part, the investigators are working in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs to ascertain his status in the Republic.
Meanwhile the other two suspects, male (37) and female (33) were apprehended in the early hours of Monday, 25 September 2023 when hard-working members were busy patrolling on the N2 Road near Commondale turn-off at about 01:30.
It is said that the astute members noticed a black Nissan X-trail with two occupants, driving at a high speed towards Piet Retief direction. They then made a U-Turn in an attempt to stop the vehicle but the driver sped off which was followed by a high-speed chase until the car was brought to a halt.
Upon searching the vehicle, members discovered seven big rolls of dagga wrapped with brown sellotapes. The weight of the dagga about 39.329 kilograms with estimated street value of about R58 993-00. The two were arrested and charged for dealing in dagga hence their court appearance.
During the court appearance, July Nsibandze (41) was remanded in custody until tomorrow, Wednesday 27 September 2023. The female (33) was released after it surfaced that she was only given a lift meanwhile Derrick Mcunu (37) appeared and his matter was postponed until 18 October 2023 for further investigation.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrest of the suspects. “We continue to work hard in the fight against trafficking of illicit items hence the successes and We commend members of the public for continuously playing a vital role as well and providing valuable information about criminal activities to authorities, ” said the General.
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