High court rejects fine for drug dealing offences

13 Mar 2017 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 13 MAR (NAMPA) - The Windhoek High Court has dismissed a request for fines to be imposed for first-time offenders rather than such offenders being sentenced to imprisonment.
On Monday, High Court judge Dinah Usiku dismissed an appeal in this regard for drug dealing convicts Bangani Dlamini, 35 and Derick Manzini, 32.
The two filed an application with the court to appeal their six-year sentence for drug dealing with the hopes that they will get only a fine as they were first-time offenders.
“There is no rule of thumb that a first-time offender should not be sentenced to direct imprisonment,” Usiku explained.
She said the fact that a fine is provided for in the penalty clause does not mean it will be imposed in all instances.
According to court documents, the duo was found in possession of 25.8 kilogrammes of cannabis worth N.dollars 130 000 a few kilometres from the Trans-Kalahari border post on 05 September 2015.
The documents further state that the pair was transporting the drugs from Swaziland into Namibia.
The pair, through their application, noted that since they voluntarily pleaded guilty, showed remorse and were in fact first-time offenders, the law should just impose a fine on them.
Usiku however said imposing a fine in a case of this nature might create the impression that the offence is not serious.
Before dismissing the appellants’ application, Usiku explained that the sentence imposed by the Gobabis Regional Court was correct and appropriate.
Dlamini and Manzini will continue serving their sentence at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.