Prison warder in court for dagga

09 October 2017 - 17:27
By Bongani Nkosi

A Pretoria prison warder appeared in the dock on allegations of dealing in dagga at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre.

Thomo Ngoato made a brief appearance in the Cullinan Magistrate’s Court today.

His trial for possession of dagga trial had to be postponed after his lawyer Tuelo Mokgara requested for a postponement‚ saying he was suffering an “excruciating toothache”. “I need to see a doctor. I forced myself to come to court‚” Mokgara told the court.

Magistrate Victor Mabunda agreed to adjourn the trial‚ shifting it to 23 October. Ngoato was granted R4 000 bail in February.

According to the charge sheet‚ which Sowetan has seen‚ Ngoato was arrested on January 30 at his workplace after being found in possession of dagga. The charge sheet said the dagga measured 196.88g‚ weight which is comparable to about two cups of flour.

 Sowetan understands the dagga was found in Ngoato’s car after it was searched at Baviaanspoort’s entrance. Ngoato is facing a count of dealing in drugs.

He is accused of contravening the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act by “supplying or attempting to get the dagga into prison”.

 He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Mokgara‚ visibly in pain‚ told Sowetan outside court that both he and his client were confident of an acquittal.

 “So far‚ all the witnesses that have testified on behalf of the prosecution have not demonstrated that what was found in possession of my client is dagga‚ as the charge sheet alleges‚” he said.

“We’re waiting for another witness‚ an expert witness for prosecution‚ to give evidence to demonstrate whether it is dagga or not.

“I’ve prepared myself thoroughly for this witness. I don’t think that at the end of the day [the expert witness] will demonstrate this is dagga. We’re very confident about the case‚” Mokgara said.