Scottburgh Court Round Up

THEFT & ROBBERY:

• A 22 year old father of 2 pleaded guilty to the theft of 3 goats valued at a total of R2 700. Magistrate Mzila, on her first day on the bench in the Scottburgh Magistrates Court, made no bones about the fact that the accused was obviously too lazy to earn a living and that he had no respect for those people who worked hard to acquire possessions. He was fined R3 000 or 3 months in prison, suspended for 5 years, and was declared unfit to possess a firearm. Magistrate Mzila told him to go out and find a job to support his family.

• Lionel Fisher (23) initially pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing a cell ‘phone from a customer at Moodley’s Spar in Umkomaas, halfway through his hearing, changed his plea to not guilty, and then reverted to his original plea of guilty when Magistrate van Aarde pointed out that if he pleaded not guilty, the matter would have to go to trial.

Fisher told the court that while in the Spar, he had asked a female friend of his family to give him some money to buy food. After giving him the money, his benefactress accidently left her cell ‘phone lying on the counter. He took the cell ‘phone, meaning to return it to its owner, but later gave it to a third party to whom he owed a sum of money.

The complainant testified that Fisher had made no attempt to contact her regarding the missing cell ‘phone and had not offered her any compensation for its loss. Fisher admitted to a previous conviction for possession of dagga and was fined R800 or 4 months in prison, suspended for 3 years.

He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

• An elderly Umkomaas man, facing a charge of theft, was remanded in custody pending the submission of his medical records, as the man was incapable of understanding the court procedure. He reappeared on March 12.

• A young mother accused of stealing beauty products from Checkers in Scottburgh, was remanded in custody pending the payment of R300 bail. She indicated that she would be pleading not guilty to the charge and will reappear in court on March 20.

• A homeless man charged with being in possession of 62 m of copper cabling provided some merriment in court when he asked the court to sentence him to prison as he had no permanent address in the area and he was a long way from his parents’ home. His case was adjourned so that he and the Legal Aid attorney could discuss the advisability of pleading guilty to such a serious offence.

DRUG OFFENCES:

• Three males appeared on 3 separate charges of possession of dagga. The first male, from Sezela, pleaded guilty to possession of 7 g of dagga. He said that he was unemployed and had no money to pay a fine. As he had been arrested over the week-end and held in the police cells pending his Monday morning appearance in court, he was cautioned and discharged. The second male, from Amandawe, was charged with possession of, alternately, dealing in, 1 237 g of dagga.

He indicated that he would plead guilty to possession, but not guilty to dealing. He was remanded in custody pending the payment of R500 bail and will reappear on March 8. The third male, a 21 year old Durban resident who had been arrested at a roadblock in Park Rynie, was charged with possession of / dealing in 3,3 kg of dagga. He was also remanded in custody, pending the payment of R500 bail.

• Sbongiseni Mkhize (23) from the Unkomaas area, was found guilty of possession of 1 capsule of heroin and sentenced to a fine of R600 or 3 months in prison. During his trial, Mkhize had tried to implicate the two arresting officers by accusing them of being involved in drug dealing themselves.

He told the court that one of the officers had planted the heroin capsule on him during the search, and that he had been threatened with a charge of possession of 10 capsules, instead of one, if he did not reveal the names of the “whoonga” dealers in the Umkomaas area.

These allegations were vehemently denied by both officers and rejected as a pack of lies, by Magistrate van Aarde. He told Mkhize that unfounded allegations of this nature could lead to a civil prosecution for defamation by the officers concerned. Mkhize admitted to two previous convictions for possession of dagga.

• A 25 year old father of one from Renishaw, who is currently standing trial on a charge of housebreaking, appeared in court on March 8 charged with possession of 1 g of dagga. Since he had no money to pay a fine and had spent one night in custody, he was cautioned and discharged. The housebreaking trial will continue on March 22.

  AUTHOR
MSCRS Reporter

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