A lorry driver was last Friday sentenced to two years in prison by the Khomas Regional Court for transporting cannabis worth close to N$1 million.
Last Tuesday Ulrich Herman, 40, pleaded guilty to a charge of dealing in a prohibited dependence-producing substance. He admitted
that on December, 10, 2010 he transported 312 kg of cannabis – with a streetmarket value of about N$936 000 – in a lorry of which he was the driver east of Windhoek.
The matter was then remanded to last Friday for sentencing. Magistrate Sarel Jacobs sentenced him to seven years in prison, of which
five were suspended for a period of four years on condition that he is not convicted of the same offence during the period of suspension.
Herman was arrested on December 10, 2010 and has been in custody ever since. In a guilty plea read out by his defence lawyer
Milton Engelbrecht on Tuesday, Herman said, “I admit that on December 10, 2010 at or near Seeis in the district of Windhoek, that
I was the driver of the white Mercedes Benz truck with registration number N117-201W.
“On that particular day I was requested by my friend to transport cannabis from Seeis to Windhoek,” the confession stated, adding, “I
am sorry for what I have done and beg for the mercy of this honourable court.” On Tuesday the State and the defence addressed
Magistrate Jacobs on the sentence to be imposed.
Engelbrecht pointed out that Herman came to court to plead guilty: “Society did not suffer any consequences, as Herman was arrested
before the drugs reached the streets.” The defence asked that the court take into account the time Herman has spent in custody,
and asked that his client be fined N$20 000, or given a seven-year sentence in prison, of which five years were to be suspended.
Prosecutor Seredine Jacobs argued that while Herman’s guilty plea may be seen as a sign of remorse, it is likely that there was no
other option open to him. The prosecutor said in transporting the drugs, Herman “fuelled the current drug market.”
“He may have received compensation, which counts against him,” she said, adding that Herman should be sentenced to eight years
in prison without an option of a fine.