The Calvinia Regional Court in the Northern Cape has sentenced a 59-year-old drug dealer to 15 years direct imprisonment.
Expert evidence in the matter before court estimated the drugs to have a street value of approximately R3.5 million.
During his initial court appearance, Johnson was denied bail, however, he brought another bail application before the court on new facts and he was thereafter granted bail of R20,000.
As the matter proceeded in court, Johnson later absconded from court during the trial in September 2022. The trial was at an advanced stage and him not returning to court resulted in the judgment not being handed down by the court.
A warrant for his arrest was issued and Johnson was rearrested in May 2023.
The R20,000 bail was forfeited to the state and he was remanded in custody until the matter was finalised.
State Prosecutor Solly Sass argued the court should hand down the prescribed minimum sentence as not only did Johnson show no remorse, but he also tried evading his court case.
Sass further submitted that by sentencing Johnson to a lengthy period in prison, the court will be sending a clear message to illicit drug trader as that justice will deal with those who destroy communities.
The court sentenced Johnson to 15 years direct imprisonment and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) obtained a provisional forfeiture order for his vehicle, an Isuzu bakkie as well the money found in the vehicle.