- A Zimbabwean magistrate imprisoned a South African drug smuggler on Tuesday who was caught trafficking contraband worth R600 000
- Shila Khumalo remained steadfast throughout the trial that she was not guilty in spite of the criminal charges she face but ultimately received a 12-year sentence
- Khumalo was arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport after arriving from Brazil and was found with the cocaine
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On Tuesday, a South African woman was imprisoned in Zimbabwe for trafficking drugs totalling R600 000. Shila Khumalo is a resident of Johannesburg who was sentenced for dealing drugs by Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi in Harare.
The 50-year-old's initial charge was for the possession of drugs but due to the sheer amount of drugs in her possession, the charges were upgraded. In court, Khumalo maintained her innocence in the matter.
The woman received a 12-year sentence in jail, two years were suspended pending good behaviour. The state allegedly acted on a tip-off where Khumalo was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.
According to TimesLIVE, Khumalo was on her way from Brazil where the drugs came from to South Africa when her bags were searched. Cocaine was found in her baggage, in order to save herself, she swallowed about a kilogram of plastic balls of the drug.
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The Chronicle reported that Khumalo stated that she had not sold any cocaine while in Zimbabwe. She added that she is not in that business and that the substance was for her own personal use.
Government unveils R28 Billion cannabis industry national strategy
In related news, Briefly News previously reported that The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has presented a national strategy aimed at monetising the R28 billion cannabis business.
The government's strategy is said to have the potential to create over 25 000 jobs for South Africans and attract foreign investment, according to Fin24.
The plan comes after extensive research was conducted by the department for a period of two years that looked at the industrialisation and monetisation of the cannabis plant. Country's such as Mexico, Canada, the United States of America and China's strategies in relation to the commercialisation of the cannabis plant were studied.
According to BizNews, the Department of Agriculture believes that tapping into the cannabis industry would help expand the economy. The department has noted that there current restrictions to their plans such as the legal standing of the cannabis plant in South Africa.
The department is also concerned that there there is a potential for major companies to take over the industry and monopolising it. The strategy calls for promoting hemp and marijuana production with uses ranging from medical to food to recreational use.
The department also aims to expand the volume and variety of cannabis produced for domestic and international markets while maintaining an efficient regulatory and legal framework.