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A 38-year-old woman allegedly caught with R1.6 million of crystal meth (tik) stashed in her handbag made a brief appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Tuesday).
With bloodshot eyes, hair pulled back in a ponytail and her two daughters seated behind her, Nokukhanya Patricia Cele made her first appearance since her arrest at Johannesburg’s Park Station on Sunday.
She was nabbed while preparing to board a train to Cape Town, said Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou.
“Gauteng Hawks kept observation at the Johannesburg train station after receiving information that the suspect will be boarding the train that afternoon with drugs destined for Cape Town. A description was given and when she was about to board the train she was arrested with 6 kilograms of drugs,” said Ndou.
Pleading her innocence, the mother of two daughters aged 18 and 21told the court through her lawyer Haneef Jamaloodeen that she could afford to pay R10 000 if she was released on bail.
But State prosecutor Bradley Chepape opposed this, calling for a R50 000 bail instead.
However, Magistrate Hellena Engelbrecht granted her bail of R20 000 after Cele indicated she could only afford R20 000 due to her financial situation.
But by 4pm, she had not paid the money and was bundled into a police van and taken back to the police holding cells.
If she manages to raise the money, she will have to report to the Douglasdale police station every day and inform the investigating officer before leaving Gauteng.
Magistrate Engelbrecht said she was not allowed to be in possession of any travel documents and to keep staying at a North Riding address listed on court documents.
The case was postponed to March 27 for further investigations. - The Star