-

NewsNo bail for suspect on drug charges

No bail for suspect on drug charges
N

Advertisements

Bail was not granted to Belinda Margaret Swart accused of possession of drugs.

Belinda Swart (53) was remanded in custody by the Secunda District Court on Thursday, 13 January 2022 after she was arrested by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit based in Secunda. The Hawks, together with Crime Intelligence and the K9 Unit promptly responded to information about a suspect allegedly dealing in drugs around Secunda on Wednesday, 12 January 2021.

Belinda Margaret Swart as she entered the courtroom today

A disruptive search and seizure operation was executed on the premises and the suspect was found in possession of drugs (Chrystal meth). Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was previously arrested by the Hawks in 2018 for the Drugs and Drugs Trafficking Act. The accused was later in August 2018 found guilty and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment of which 1 year 6 months are suspended for 5 years, with the choice of acknowledgement of guilty of R12 000

During the first appearance on Thursday, the defence of the accused insisted to proceed with a formal bail application on the schedule 5 hearing. The accused was denied bail and remanded in custody. The case was postponed to 4 April 2022 for further investigation.

The Bulletin learned that Belinda Swart did duty as a reservist in the SAPS.

Advertisements

Belinda Margaret Swart (52) appeared in the local courts today on charges of possession of drugs. The charges are for the contravention of the Drugs and Drug trafficking act for being in possession of a dependence forming or dangerous drug. The charges are schedule 5 charges. Under the schedule 5 charges, the onus is on the applicant to prove that it is in the interest of justice that she be released.

Belinda was arrested yesterday by the hawks when they raided her residence.

The applicant, Belinda Margaret Swart, stated through an affidavit that was read by her attorney in court, that the state has a weak case. She said that she had been living at the same address for the past 30 years and has a handicapped child to care for.

She informed the court of two previous convictions. In 2018 she was found guilty of contravening the Drugs and Drug trafficking act for being in possession of a dependence forming or dangerous drug. In 2020 she was found guilty of contravening the Drugs and Drug trafficking act for dealing in a dependence forming or dangerous drug. There are no pending cases against her.

Advertisements

She claimed that she had assets exceeding R500000 in value, these included a house, household items and a vehicle.

She also claimed that she does not know the witnesses in the case. She also undertook not to interfere nor communicate with any witnesses should she be released on bail. She also stated that she would not threaten or interfere with witnesses in any way.

Belinda also said in her affidavit that she would plead not guilty. She also claimed that she had never seen the drugs that were found.

Belinda claimed that she is not a flight risk and would not pose a danger to anyone should she be released on bail. She is also not a member of a gang.

Advertisements

Also read: Three (3) accused receives long sentences

The state prosecutor read an affidavit of the investigating officer, Hawks Detective Warrant Officer Ras, as opposition to the bail application.

Ras stated in his affidavit that the applicant stated that the applicant, Belinda Swart, has two previous convictions for contravening the Drugs and Drug trafficking act and was sentenced to imprisonment in 2018 and in 2020 she received a fine.

The value of the drugs found in her possession was valued at R3000.

Advertisements
hawks bail

The state opposed bail on the following factors:

  • The nature of the crime of which the accused is charged is a schedule 5 offence
  • The applicant, Belinda Swart, identified the drugs and meth pipes to W/O Ras. She acknowledged that the drugs are Crystal Meths.
  • Witnesses gave statements to implicate her in the charges. One witness was on the scene when she was arrested and identified the bag of Belinda in which the drugs were found.
  • This case is likely to be send to the regional court due to her previous convictions.
  • The accused is familiar with the witnesses who was on the scene and identified the bag that contained the drugs.
  • Swarts also stated that once she gets out, she will deal with the witness who pointed out the bag, thus threatening the domestic worker.
  • It will be nearly impossible to keep the accused from contacting the witnesses.

Warrant Officer Ras said in his statement that the public expects the court not to grant bail as she seems to be a repeat offender.

The defence for Belinda Swart then had an opportunity to continue arguments in obtaining a favourable outcome in the Bail application.

bail
Belinda Swart

The defence argued again that Belinda is not a flight risk and have a property to the value of half a million rands and would not flee the country with such assets.

Advertisements

Belinda’s defence also argued that the previous two convictions and these charges are unrelated, and the court should not really take them into consideration.

The defence reiterated that Belinda intends to plead not guilty as she denies ever even seeing the drugs.

It was also argued that if denied bail she would leave her disabled child without care.

The defence also argued that Belinda is not a flight risk and poses no threat to anyone as she is a loving and caring mother for her child.

Advertisements

The state through the state prosecutor pointed to the contradictions in the applicants’ affidavit.

She stated that she did not know any of the witnesses, the state pointed out that one of the witnesses is a domestic worker at the place where she resides. She even threatened the witness stating that she will deal with her when she returns.

This is a clear indication that the applicant will intimidate the witnesses.

The state said that the previous convictions are related to the current charge. She did not take the previous convictions seriously said the state prosecutor.

Advertisements

She pointed out the drugs and pipes to W/O Ras.

It is clear that she will carry on with drug-related offences.

The state said that the drugs were found in the same household that the child resides in. They also argued that the father and the domestic worker is there to take care of the child. The father is also residing at the same household.

The state also argued that the absence of Belinda from the child would not damage the child but rather the presence of Belinda near the child would be detrimental to her wellbeing.

Advertisements

The state also argued that W/O Ras’s investigation revealed that the accused does not have assets to the value of R500000 or anywhere near that.

In her judgement, the presiding officer, Judge Kekana said that from Belinda,s own affidavit she was convicted in 2018 and also in 2020. It is now 2022 and she is back on similar charges.

She said that it is very worrying that there is a handicapped child in the house and the previous convictions and the current charges do not equate to a loving and caring mother of a handicapped child.

She also said that Belinda Swart clearly had no intention or desire to rehabilitate herself. She also said that she would still be here in 2024 as it appears that she is appearing every two years. She also stated that the arrest was not made by ordinary SAP members this time but by the hawks.

Advertisements

She also said that she does not understand how anybody with drugs can take care of a child.

“You have a problem and you did not address it that you could have done a long time ago. The court is not going to be so lenient again,” said Judge Kekana, the presiding officer, “Bail denied.”

The case had been postponed until 4 April 2022

The Bulletin learned that the Hawks are now prioritising the drug industry in the area. The Bulletin will publish a number that will be provided by the hawks in due course that the public can use anonymously to report any drug-related matters.

Advertisements

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

No bail for suspect on drug charges

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Kruik se Oggenddiens 22 May 2022

Welkom by Kruik se oggenddiens van 22 Mei 2022 Vanoggend se tema is "Die Heilige Gees, Hier en Nou." https://youtu.be/BZ40yPA4GmY Die Heilige...

Company directors appear on fraud charges

COMPANY DIRECTORS WARNED TO RETURN TO COURT FOR FRAUD. MPUMALANGA – Hartman Industrial Equipment (PTY) Ltd, Charles Sydney Hendry Hartman (63)...

ANIMALS 101 – GENERAL POST-OPERATIVE CARE FOR PETS

ANIMALS 101 -WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT POST-OPERATIVE CARE FOR YOUR PETS Any pet parent feels worried when their fur-family...

Medical staff held hostage, ambulance stripped

SUSPECTS STRIPS AN AMBULANCE AND HELD MEDICAL STAFF HOSTAGE Nelspruit: 16 May 2022 - The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you