Pretoria – A 36-year-old man, Chibuzo Chicozie Ogbunuku, also known as Don, has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for crimes including drug dealing and escaping from lawful custody.
Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said Ogbunuku was among of several people arrested in June last year, and last month.
“They (the arrested suspects, including Ogbunuku) appeared before the Bethal Regional Court on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 for dealing in drugs.
“Chibuzo Chicozie ‘Don’ Ogbunuku entered a plea agreement with the State and he was sentenced to eight years direct imprisonment collectively for dealing in drugs, conspiracy to commit an offence, corruption, escaping from custody, illegal entry, departing or remaining in the country,” said Sekgotodi.
“The case against Okereke Valentine Okwudiri, 36, Kadima Remy, 30, Male Mokoko, 34, Mukembani Justin Kasindo, 35, Rudi Angel Kishuka, 25, Bongiwe Malingela, 42, David Enewere, 35, and Hassanda Kaluwe, 32, was postponed to August 30, 2022 for legal representative,” she said.
The Hawks said another suspect, Mbusho Janvier Kikaranga, 35, who was not in court was remanded to August 15 for bail application.
Meanwhile, Hawks provincial head in Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena has welcomed the sentence handed down on Ogbunuku.
She saluted the investigation team “for commendable efforts” in curtailing crime.
Last year, a 37-year-old woman prison warder appeared in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court for allegedly dealing in drugs.
Prison warder, Tinyiko Claudia Mathebula, based at Paxton correctional services in Witbank was arrested during a pre-dawn raid at her home in November.
At the time, Sekgotodi said the court released Mathebula on R3 000 bail.
“Mathebula was nabbed by members of the Hawks serious organised crime investigation team in Mpumalanga together with Dog Unit (K9) Middelburg and Crime Intelligence Witbank for contravention of the Drug and Drugs Trafficking Act” said Sekgotodi.
“The joint police team swiftly acted on information received about the prison warden who was allegedly dealing in drugs,” she said.