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A decade away for dagga

A decade away for dagga

LOCKED UP: Thapelo Skhosana

A South African trucker has paid a high price for trafficking marijuana into the country, sentenced to 10 years in jail by Maun Magistrates Court this month.

29-year-old Thapelo Skhosana could have shaved five years off his prison term by paying a P20, 000 fine.

However, given just two days to come up with the money, the Mzansi man failed to find the cash and cut his prison term in half; thus he will serve a full decade behind bars.

Skhosana was convicted of trafficking in narcotic drugs following his arrest at Makalamabedi veterinary gate and police checkpoint, on the outskirts of Maun in January.

Officers searching his Woolworths truck found just over 29kg of weed in the vehicle – an amount Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalo called significant.

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A decade away for dagga

BIG LOAD: The dagga Skhosana was caught with

“This is quite a lot. The proliferation of illicit drugs calls on the courts to do their part in ensuring that the situation is brought under control. The courts can play a part by amongst other things ensuring that appropriate sentences are imposed on offenders,” he said.

Further explaining the reasoning behind his seemingly harsh sentence, Mulalo pointed out that drug taking was becoming a big problem in the area, with youth particularly affected.

“Futures of our young ones are shattered. The health of the users is negatively affected. This in turn affects the health system in a negative way.”

The Magistrate added the law in Botswana is strict on such offences and that Skhosana should thank his lucky stars the punishment was not more severe.

“I do consider that the accused person stands convicted of an offence that is serious in nature. A person convicted of the offence at hand stands to be sentenced to a fine not exceeding P500, 000 or to an imprisonment term not exceeding 25 years or both. That is how serious the offence the accused person stands convicted on is,” stated Mulalo.

Leaving court with the look of a worried man, Skhosana, who is a first time offender, was told his sentence would be backdated to the time of his arrest, 220 days ago. The South African will next breathe free air in 2032.

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