The trembling 70-year-old Samuel Benjamin Dube nearly collapsed from shock after the Urban Customary Court President told him he was facing a nine-year jail term for the unlawful possession of dagga.
Central Police Officers found Dube, a traditional doctor from Matebeleng Village in Lekgwarapana Ward, in possession of dagga weighting 716.9 grams.
Dube, who was immediately dubbed ‘Trembling Samuel’, told the court that he was guilty of possession of dagga but added that he had dagga because he was hungry. He accused his long time girlfriend of squealing on him to the police.
After being told the gravity of his crime and what
he was facing, ‘Trembling Samuel’ nearly fell over and was immediately told to sit down only seconds after he had been asked to stand up.
Reading out his previous convictions, State Prosecutor from Diamond and Narcotics Squad, Sgt Bagopi, told the court that on July 1, 1970 at the Mochudi Magistrate Court, Dube was arraigned before the court charged with assault common and was fined R10 or two months in jail.
On April 23, 1991, he appeared before the Jwaneng Customary Court charged with assaulting and wounding his child. He was fined P60 or four months in jail.
Bagopi told the court that Dube was arrested October 13, 2006, at Ext 2 in African Mall in Gaborone, having been found with dagga in a black plastic bag. The dagga, together with affidavit forms and weight and measure certificate, was produced in court as part of the evidence.
Kgosi Monametsi told the court that the law required that any person found in possession of dagga faced a jail term of three years plus a P1000 spot fine. He said there was no suspended sentence for possession of dagga and that, for the weight of dagga Dube had, he was supposed to go to jail for nine years or pay a P9000 spot fine.
Monametsi said he felt bad because Dube was an old person who committed a serious offence, which should take him to jail.
In his mitigation, the ‘Trembling Samuel’ told the court that he was the one taking care of his grand children. He asked the court to show mercy when sentencing him and informed the court that he would go to his cattle post to sell a cow so that he could pay his sentence. He told the court that it was his girlfriend who had told the police that he had the dagga.
Samuel Benjamin Dube was fined P500 to be paid before November 30, 2006, failing which he would go to jail for 18 months. Monametsi ordered that the dagga be burned in his presence.