CORRECTION: Domestic worker jailed for three years in Swakop

STORY CORRECTS PERIOD IN LAST PARA. REPLACING 36 years WITH 36 months.

WALVIS BAY: A 29-year-old domestic worker from the Kuisebmund residential area of Walvis Bay was sentenced to three years direct imprisonment for dealing in illegal substances.

Elizabeth Bongiwe Hajisi, a Namibian citizen with South African origin, was apprehended by the police in July 2014 with 27 half pieces of crack cocaine, six full pieces of crack cocaine, as well as three halves of mandrax tablets in her bedroom.

The drugs found hidden in a baby’s shoe and folded in a towel under her bed, has a street value of N.dollars 4 000.

She appeared before Magistrate Vicky Nicolaidis in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Hajisi was given 24 months for dealing in cocaine and another 12 months for dealing in mandrax (methaqualone).

Her legal representative, Liesel Heyman argued that her client should not be send to jail as she is a first offender, has been in jail for a month before receiving bail, and is a single mother with children to support.

“It is my instructions that she can pay a fine of N.dollars 5 000, and we pray for the court’s mercy on sentencing,” said the defense lawyer.

However, the State said the accused runs a drug dealing business.

State Prosecutor Eden Iyambo submitted that punishment should fit the offence itself, and should not be too light to prevent making a mockery of the justice system.

Iyambo further said the sentence should apply across the board, inclusive of those who are able to buy themselves out of jail by paying fines.

“Not to over emphasize the offence itself, the interest of society plays a critical role. There is an outcry against drugs in the district of Walvis Bay. Our obedient members (of society) need to be protected from the drug menace, and our court, as an institution vested with the power to administer justice, is called upon to protect such interests,” submitted the State.

Iyambo proposed a direct sentence of 36 months.

Delivering judgment, magistrate Nicolaidis said the court took into account the fact that the accused is a first offender and have children to support.

“Drug dealers of the ilk of the accused person are at worst predators and at best parasites who prey on the weakness of others. Indeed, leniency in sentencing and sentences handed down so far have no deterrent effects whatsoever on such offenders in Walvis Bay. This court therefore sentences you to 36 months direct imprisonment,” said the magistrate.

SOURCE: NAMPA