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I was desperate’, says Andile after being nabbed with dagga

30-year-old man Andile Tsabedze from Mahlangatja said desperation made him be arrested for possessing 0.5 kg of dagga without a valid permit.

The accused told the Mbabane Magistrate’s Court that he was forced to sell the drug to save his badly injured child.

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The incident unfolded at the Ngwenya Border on April 15, 2024. His charge sheet states that the accused was charged for unlawfully, and wrongfully possessing 0.5 kg dagga, contravening section 7 as read with section 8(1) of the Opium and Habit-Forming Drugs Act No. 37 of 1922, as amended.

Tsabedze, in a plea for leniency, revealed to the Mbabane Magistrate’s Court that his actions were driven by a father’s love and a pressing need for funds to save his injured child.

With tears in his eyes, in his mitigation, he explained how his child had suffered burns and required urgent medical attention, pushing him to resort to selling the illegal substance to raise money.

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“Your worship, I am unemployed. My child needed me to decide. I did not intend to commit a crime,” he said. However, despite the plea, the court had to uphold the law, with Principal Magistrate Fikile Nhlabatsi emphasizing the gravity of possessing dagga without a permit.

The Principal Magistrate sentenced Tsabedze, a first-time offender, to a 2-year imprisonment sentence or pay a fine of E2 000.

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