Sat Sep 23 00:32:34 SAST 2017

Premier's son on drugs rap

By Katlego Moeng | 2012-03-16 09:03:33.0

Court fines him - Family send him to rehab - Mom to fight drugs scourge

GAUTENG premier Nomvula Mokonyane's son, Africa Peter Mkhize, has to go to a drug rehabilitation centre after his conviction in the Kagiso Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Mkhize was convicted of drug possession and magistrate Carlo Labuschagne sentenced him to 12-month imprisonment suspended for five years. He was also ordered to pay a R2,000 fine after he pleaded guilty.

Mkhize, who uses Mokonyane's maiden name, did everything possible to avoid being photographed.

Kitted out with a beige jacket, he rocked back and forth nervously in the dock.

Immediately after the proceedings family members, who refused to speak to the media, rushed off to withdraw money for the fine and later whisked Mkhize away in a stylish black Range Rover while making sure they shielded him from photographers.

Mkhize, 29, was arrested in November after being found in possession of 12 units of heroin equalling 68g.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug used as a main ingredient in the manufacture of nyaope, the latest drug craze in townships across the country.

In his statement in court Mkhize said: "I plead guilty as charged. I did wrongfully have in my possession an undesirable dependance producing substance.

"I confirm that it is wrong to be found in possession of drugs."

In mitigation his lawyer said Mkhize's family was taking him to a rehabilitation facility.

Labuschagne said: "You admitted to your crime.

"Nyaope is prevalent in Kagiso. We have people coming in here everyday with drug-related matters.

"It is heartbreaking to say it, but more than 90% of the drug- related matters involve youths bellow 30 years of age.

"I am glad to see you are going to get help because you cannot win this on your own."

Mokonyane's office was quick to point out to Sowetan that Mkhize did not live with the premier and that he was a young adult.

Mkhize lives with relatives in Kagiso after his delinquent ways ultimately got him into trouble with his businessman stepfather Serge Mokonyane, who forced him out of their Noordheuwel house, north of Krugersdorp.

Mokonyane's spokesman Xoli Mngambi said the premier was "totally aware of Africa's drug problem".

He said Mokonyane was "extremely saddened and disappointed by her son's actions" but was satisfied that the law had taken its course.

Mokonyane said in a statement: "As the premier of this province, I am aware that the scourge of drug abuse is huge in Gauteng and it affects all of us. I want to assure residents that this incident will not deter me in the fight against drug-abuse, or abuse of any other substance.

"I call upon all residents to help the government in the fight against the proliferation of drugs and drug abuse.

"In addition, as a mother, I appeal for your support and prayers as my family and I deal with this traumatic experience."

  • Mkhize has a previous conviction of theft where he also received a suspended sentence. He was found with a stolen vehicle in 2004.
  • The premier's other troubled son, Retlabusa Mokonyane, was found dead in a town house in Bassonia, southern Johannesburg, in November 2010. At the time, police would not confirm if he had been shot or hanged himself.