Man from Swazi arrested in a taxi, while smuggling drugs

Bhekithemba Simelane, a 43-year-old Swazi national, found himself in hot water on Tuesday, 20 February 2024, when he was arrested for allegedly dealing in dagga.

The incident happened along the N2 Piet Retief-Pongola Road, where Simelane, a regular taxi commuter, was intercepted with a significant quantity of dagga hidden on his body.

How the Swazi national was caught

The arrest happened during a routine stop and search operation conducted by police from the Mahamba Port of Entry. Their attention was drawn to a Toyota Quantum taxi, prompting a thorough inspection.

Upon searching the vehicle, authorities discovered a substantial amount of dagga, totaling 3,922 kilograms, meticulously wrapped around Simelane’s body.

Following his arrest, Simelane was charged with dealing in dagga. He made his initial court appearance at the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 21 February 2024.

During the hearing, he was remanded into custody pending further investigations. His next court date has been scheduled for Wednesday, 06 March 2024, where a formal bail application will be considered.

Preliminary investigations into the matter have shed light on Simelane’s intended destination. It was revealed that he was on his way to Vryheid in the Kwazulu Natal, presumably to distribute the drugs.

In response to the arrest, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, the Provincial Commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga, commended the diligent efforts of law enforcement officers. She emphasized that the routes traversing Mpumalanga should never serve as conduits for criminal activities.


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