TWO suspected drug dealers, who were arrested in Bulawayo after being found in possession of 0,7 grammes of cocaine with a street value of $80, were yesterday each fined $600 or 12 months imprisonment.
Bekezela Ndlovu, 38, of Nkulumane suburb and Wisdom Sibindi, 36, of Queens Park initially pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing cocaine for the purpose of dealing when they appeared before magistrate Marylin Mutshina.
Their plea was later altered to not guilty when they told the court that they did not know what the substance in their possession was.
In passing the sentence Bulawayo magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa told the court that if the crime was committed in an aggravatory manner it would attract a jail term of 15 years imprisonment.
“The possession of cocaine is a serious offence but because l took into consideration what you said in mitigation and that you’re breadwinners in your families, you are therefore each fined of $600 each or 12 months,” said Muchemwa.
Sibindi is a cross border truck driver and no information was supplied about Ndlovu.
Ndlovu said the cocaine was brought into the country from South Africa but did not state who had supplied it.
“Your worship the substance was sent from South Africa. I only gave it to Sibindi so that he could run tests on it, we didn’t know what it was,” said Ndlovu.
Prosecuting, Nkathazo Dlodlo said on April 8, at the corner of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 5th Avenue, police officers were on patrol when they saw Ndlovu and Sibindi at Bulawayo Service Station.
Dlodlo said Ndlovu was seen handing over a plastic paper which contained a white substance to Sibindi.
“Sibindi put the plastic paper in his right side pocket and the police officers became suspicious,” said Dlodlo.
The officers arrested the two and took them to CID drugs section where the substance was tested. It proved to be cocaine.