• No fewer than 6 males appeared in the Scottburgh Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, September 6, on separate charges of driving overloaded trucks. One of the drivers, whose vehicle was weighed in at more than 12 000 kg overweight, stated that as a driver, he was not responsible for the loading of the vehicle. All the men were released on warning, pending their reappearance on September 12. Magistrate Mzila quipped that the shops would be closed on that day as all the truck drivers would be in court.
• A 50-year-old caregiver from Widenham pleaded guilty to a charge of negligent driving. The charge arose from a motor vehicle accident involving the accused and a local police officer, in May of this year. Originally, the accused had been charged with drunk driving, but this was altered to reckless and / or negligent driving. The accused was fined R2 000 or 3 months in prison, of which half was suspended for 5 years.
• A 45-year-old father of one, pleaded guilty to possession of 134 g of dagga. He used the old excuse that her smoked dagga as a cure for his chest complaint. Magistrate Mzila said that the use of dagga was like an epidemic in the area.
Everybody assumed that he / she could ignore the law and do as he / she pleased. She warned the accused to seek proper medical assistance for his chest complaint and pointed out that there were many legal remedies available for the treatment of illnesses.
Should the accused wish to continue practising self-medication, he would need to apply to the court for an order granting him permission to use dagga for medical purposes.
In the meantime, he was fined R500 or 1 month in prison, wholly suspended for 5 years.
• The bail application hearing for three males from the Transkei, charged with dealing in / possession of 42.1 kg of dagga, will enter its fifth day on Monday, 10 September. Disgruntled family members, who have been attending court in anticipation of the men released on bail, were once again forced to return home without any satisfactory outcome.
The reason for the latest delay in the proceedings is that one of the accused announced on Friday morning, that he spoke Xhosa and was not comfortable with the proceedings being conducted in isiZulu, and the court interpreter responded that he was an isiZulu speaker and was not comfortable with translating the proceedings into Xhosa.