shwi locked up in dagga bust

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Gauteng dagga smokers and dealers were dealt a huge blow when Mpumalanga police confiscated seven bags of dagga and arrested five people.

Among those arrested was award-winning maskandi musician Shwi.

Born in Nkandla in Kwazulu-Natal, Shwi is a member of the popular group Shwi noMtekhala. The group has won three SA Music Awards and the SA Traditional Music Awards.

The group's album Wangisiza Baba, which was released in 2004, sold more than 600000 copies.

Their follow-up album in 2006,Angimaz'ubaba, sold more than 150000 copies.

The suspects, including Shwi (real name Mandla Xaba), appeared in the Standerton magistrate's court yesterday where they were expected to have a formal bail hearing.

But they were remanded until next Thursday for a formal bail application.

Mpumalanga police said Xaba, 37, and the other four people, were travelling in the musician's bakkie in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The bakkie was allegedly loaded with seven bags of dagga that police believe were destined for Gauteng.

Mpumalanga organised crime unit spokesman, Captain Leonard Hlathi, told Sowetan that the police were on a routine crime prevention operation when they pulled the vehicle over after midnight and discovered the dagga.

"Our members were engaged in a routine stop and search operation in Standerton when they stopped the vehicle in which the musician and others were travelling," he said.

"The vehicle was searched and 181kg of dagga with a street value of R90000 was found."