Man sentenced after fully-fledged hydroponic laboratory found in his apartment
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Cape Town – A Gordon’s Bay man has been sentenced in the Strand Regional Court on charges of possession of drugs, firearm and ammunition.
According to the Western Cape spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Zinzi Hani, 30-year-old Kelvin Shaun Bester was bust on February 6, 2019.
She said Bester was arrested by officers from the Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (Saneb) together with Major Offences Reaction Team (MORT) after he and a female acquaintance handed themselves over at the Hawks’ Bellville offices.
Hani said the arrests came after the Hawks team reacted to information about a “fully-fledged hydroponic laboratory" being run from an apartment in the Gordon’s Bay area.
“This led to the discovery of various glass containers filled with dagga, magic mushrooms and various types of ammunition as well as a rifle.
“The recoveries had a combined value of R120 000,” Hani said.
Charges were subsequently withdrawn against Bester’s female acquaintance at court.
The court sentenced Bester to a R10 000 fine or six months’ imprisonment for the possession of drugs, for which three months of the sentence was suspended for three years.
He was further sentenced to a six month suspended sentence for the possession of a firearm as well as the possession of ammunition.
In an unrelated incident, the Hawks managed to secure a conviction and sentence against a former Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Department traffic official, Constable Mazulwandile Wilson Makaula, 49, for corruption. He got six years direct imprisonment.
In 2018, Makaula was on duty in Vosloorus conducting random stop and searches when he pulled over a motorist.
He demanded R300 from the driver, threatening to impound the vehicle without valid reasons.
The driver gave Makaila R150 in cash for his vehicle not to be impounded.
However, the traffic official was not happy and on the same day demanded the outstanding amount of R150 from the motorist.
The matter was reported to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in Germiston.
A sting operation was conducted at a shopping complex where Makaula was arrested and found to be in possession of the entrapment money, R150.
He was convicted in June.