S v LINUS 2015 (1) SACR 381 (GP)

Drug offences — Methcathinone — Dealing in contravention of s 5(b) of Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992 — Sentence — First offender sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for selling methcathinone and methamphetamine to undercover agent — Sentence upheld on appeal, court holding that it was most serious offence warranting imprisonment.

The appellant was convicted and sentenced in a magistrates’ court to imprisonment F for ten years, after having pleaded guilty to two counts of dealing in dependence-producing substances in contravention of s 5(b) of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992. The appellant was a first offender who had sold the drugs to an undercover agent in a police trap. It was contended for the appellant on appeal that the magistrate had overemphasised the interests of the community and had overlooked the appellant’s personal circumstances.
Held, that the offence that the appellant had been convicted of was very serious and it had a devastating effect on communities by destroying the youth and frustrating parents. Consumption of drugs led to dysfunctional families and disrupted proper schooling. It was the source of most social ills in our society. The offence was most serious as to warrant a sentence of imprisonment.
Held, further, that the sentence was not shockingly disproportionate as to warrant interference by the appellate court.