KEETMANSHOOP – A 31-year-old Eswatini national and two Namibians, accused of dealing with cannabis, valued at N$242 000 are in court trying to get released on bail.
Phila Dlamini, Nahas Mbundu and Linda Joseph are standing accused on a charge of dealing in cannabis, weighing 4.8 kilogrammes.
During previous court proceedings, bail to an amount of N$6 000 was granted to Mbundu, whilst Joseph got bail of N$5 000.
Court records further indicated that both accused should, as part of conditions attached, report to their nearby police stations every Friday from the date of getting released from bail between the hours of 08h00 and 16h00.
In the case of Dlamini, public prosecutor Marlon Adams objected to bail being granted, based on reasons that the accused entered Namibia illegally with an invalid passport, with no fixed residence, and is, thus, regarded as a flight risk, and that the State has a good case against the accused, and there is possibility of interfering with incomplete police investigations and State witnesses.
While appearing for a formal bail application in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court before magistrate Melissa Mungunda, Dlamini under cross-examination before control prosecutor Lewis Chikungwe, indicated Mbundu as his close relative (cousin) in Namibia with whom he can reside in Rosh Pinah if granted bail.
The accused explained to the court that police officers approached him with his co-accused on 10 May 2021 in the car they were driving.
“After searching the car, the police discovered parcels, concealed in plastic bags, which contains cannabis,’’ said Dlamini.
He indicated that he can afford to pay bail to a maximum amount of N$20 000 if released.
Chikungwe raised the concern that the accused can also in the same way he entered Namibia illegally leave if granted bail.
“Would it be wrong for the State to conclude that the reason why you jumped the border was to safely transport these drugs that you were found in possession of?’’ the prosecutor stated in opposing bail.
The State, furthermore, in objecting to the granting of bail, reasoned that it would only be in the interest of justice if the accused are remanded in custody, as there is currently no extradition treaty between Namibia and Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland).
The continuation of bail proceedings in court was then halted, as Mbundu, who should testify it, did not turn up at court, since the accused could not trace him.
Dlamini will be transferred to the Karasburg police cells, where the bail application will continue as directed by the court.
Dlamini’s bail hearing is thus still to continue once transferred to Karasburg police cells.