Uranium bust worth about R800

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Durban - The value of the unenriched uranium found in possession of two men was just over R800, the Durban Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Sureka Marimuthoo told the court that, at November 14 prices, the unenriched uranium found on Sibusiso Mkhize and Sasa Vulay was worth R836.

The men, who were arrested at the Bluff in Durban on November 14, also did not have 90 ecstasy tablets as was alleged. The drug-related charges were dropped.

Marimuthoo said the arresting officers had believed there were drugs in the container containing the uranium trioxide.

“We were too afraid to open it,” she said.

She explained that officials from the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation opened the container containing the kilogram of uranium trioxide, but found no tablets.

Marimuthoo said that because the uranium trioxide, in its unprocessed state, posed little or no threat, and because there were no drugs involved, the State would not oppose bail for Mkhize.

However, the State would oppose bail for Vulay, who was in the country illegally. His immigration permit expired in April.

Vulay made no application for bail and will remain in custody.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu granted Mkhize, a father of three, bail of R2 000 on condition that he report to the Manguzi police station, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, once a week.

The case was postponed to January 29. - Sapa

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