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Kempton Park - A former policewoman who helped a syndicate smuggle drugs through OR Tambo International Airport is facing the music alone, as her co-accused have disappeared without a trace.

Dolly Nkosi, who was a sergeant stationed at the airport when she was arrested a decade ago, is now waiting to learn how many years she will spend behind bars for her role in the drug syndicate.

Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng, sitting at the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg, found her guilty on charges of racketeering and dealing in drugs several weeks ago. 

On Monday, Judge Mokgoathleng heard from prosecutor Riana Williams that the pre-sentencing report looking into Nkosi’s circumstances was still not ready.

Williams requested that the sentencing proceedings be postponed to June 3. 

Judge Mokgoathleng granted the postponement. 

He also extended Nkosi’s bail, which was not withdrawn following her conviction.

While initially slapped with charges of racketeering and dealing in drugs alongside three others, Nkosi cut a lone figure in the dock on Monday.

Nkosi is facing the music alone because two of her co-accused have fled South Africa, and another had the charges against her withdrawn earlier in the trial.

The two who evaded trial and are believed to have fled the country are Pedro Odoemenam and his brother Obi Odoemenam, who are Nigerians. 

Pedro’s wife Viwe was acquitted. Viwe had been accused of facilitating payments to Brazil-based cocaine suppliers.

The Odoemenam brothers were believed to be the kingpins of a syndicate that manufactured illegal  drugs and also smuggled cocaine into South Africa using drug mules from Brazil.

The Odoemenams were accused of running a drug lab from a rented house in Morningside, Sandton. Police raided this lab in 2009. 

Drugs they allegedly manufactured and sold included cocaine, heroin, tik, methcathinone (Cat) and methamphetamine (Ice). 

The State proved its case before Judge Mokgoathleng that Nkosi, then stationed at OR Tambo International Airport, ensured that the drugs entered the country undetected. 

She received money and gifts from the syndicate for her efforts. 

Another police officer involved in the syndicate, Sergeant Riaan Newton, was jailed several years ago. He was tried separately. 

Newton was nabbed hiding cocaine worth R540 000 in a state vehicle parked at the Hillbrow police station, where he worked. 

Then-national police commissioner Bheki Cele announced in 2009 that the Hawks had arrested members of the syndicate in an intelligence-driven operation.

While it was not clear when Obi absconded trial, Pedro disappeared in 2014. 

A statement the Hawks issued previously said Pedro went on the run after attending trial several times.

The Odoemenam brothers were each out on bail of R150 000. It was granted by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on December 7, 2009.


@BonganiNkosi87

The Star