Thapelo Skhosana, a South African national who was early this year arrested for suspected drug trafficking has been convicted by the Maun Magistrate’s Court for the offence.
The Woolworths truck driver, was on the 28th of January this year charged with drug trafficking after he was found with five packages containing a green substance suspected to be dagga at Makalamabedi Veterinary gate during a routine police stop and search. The suspected greenish substance was later confirmed to be dagga weighing 29.4 kilograms.
When delivering the verdict recently, Maun Chief Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu concluded that the accused person protected the identity of the dealer and that of the supplier as he did not inform the police as to where he got the dagga from as well as who he was taking them to.
He further noted that all the state witnesses denied the accused person’s defense that he gave the police particulars of the person he alleged to have gotten the package from, adding that the prosecution did not have any ulterior motives to pin the offence to him.
“If the accused person provided enough information the police would have been more interested in nabbing the supplier and dealer hence, I refuse to believe that the police settled for the carrier when they had a chance to nab the root supplier of the illegal substance,” Mulalu argued.
Mulalu added that it was clear that the accused person was reluctant to open the passenger door when asked to do so by a police officer on that day as he knew he was carrying dagga.
During trial state witnesses who were police officers on duty at the gate revealed that they discovered one package below the passenger seat, two behind the same seat and two more packages at the back of the Mercedes Benz truck similar to those found at the front seats.
The witnesses further revealed that when they asked the suspect what the packages contained his response was that they were decorative cloths given to him by an unknown man at Kwa Nokeng filling station in Maun. And was asked to give to a certain man in Francistown.
According to them, Skhosana could however not give details about the recipient of the alleged decorating cloths and also claimed not to know the man who gave them to him.
The accused person’s attorney, Clifford Foroma however told court that police were given the names of the man who gave his client the said packages therefore he does not understand why all the witnesses were denying it. He argued that it was unfortunate that the suspect was found with the said dagga despite the fact that it does not belong to him as he is just a truck driver.
He further argued that the accused person did not ask much about the said package nor open to see what was inside because he was rushing to get to the gate and beat the 11 pm time which trucks are not allowed to be moving after. Convicted Skhosana who has been on remand since his arrest will be sentenced September 6th.