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Accused drug dealer challenges search law

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iol pic sa cw  Grace Kunjana 0315

Independent Newspapers

Grace Kunjana hides her face outside the Western Cape High Court, where she appeared in connection with drug dealing allegations. Picture: JASON BOUD

A Wetton woman, accused of dealing in Mandrax and tik near schools in Kenilworth and Wynberg, is challenging the constitutionality of legislation that gives police powers to search premises suspected of being involved in drug-related activity.

This emerged in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, where Grace Kunjana appeared for a pre-trial conference.

Kunjana was arrested in March 2011 after police raided two properties linked to her in Kenilworth and Wynberg, and allegedly found Mandrax tablets and tik, as well as R1.8million in cash, which is believed to be the proceeds of crime.

The State alleges the money gained from drug dealing was used to pay the rent of the Kenilworth and Wynberg properties, and that Kunjana allowed money to be paid to her business and private banking accounts.

From August 2010 to June 2011, she allegedly paid for interior design at her Wetton home.

It is alleged she also used money to buy vehicles.

She was arrested after an informant told police that drugs were going to be delivered to the Kenilworth property and moved later in the day.

The informant said Kunjana also had a flat in Wynberg.

Members of the police’s Priority Crimes Unit raided the Kenilworth property and confiscated thousands of Mandrax tablets concealed in a refuse bag in the kitchen, the bedroom cupboard, potato bags in the lounge, and the boot of a car.

More Mandrax tablets were allegedly found at the Wynberg premises.

The Kenilworth property is situated near a shopping centre and several schools, while the Wynberg one is near to schools, police station, the magistrate’s court and a shopping mall.

While the criminal case against Kunjana is still pending, she has lodged a civil application challenging the constitutionality of a section of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act.

It empowers the police to search premises or vehicles in which they suspect that drugs are being stored, or question people and examine records as part of their investigations.

In court yesterday, Kunjana’s advocate, Reuben Liddell, told Cape Judge President John Hlophe the application had already been filed.

However, the parties agreed to meet Judge Hlophe next week to map out the further conduct of the case.

Saturday Argus


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