Tears of relief

Christinah Motlhabane
RELIEVED: Koga was sentenced to a year - much to her relief!

Young mum cries in joy at one-year and P10k sentence

Jailed for a year and fined P10, 000, a young mother wept uncontrollably before Francistown Magistrates Court recently.

However, 21-year-old Nomsa Koga’s tears were shed in relief not despair as the punishment could have been much worse.

The Zimbabwean has been stuck behind bars since 27 September last year, when a police raid of her Tonota home turned up nine sachets of Methicathinone (a drug commonly known as CAT or Crystal Meth on the streets) hidden under a mattress. During her initial court appearance, sat beside her two-year-old son, Koga was overheard telling officers she sells a sachet for P50.

Her husband, Ngonidzashe Koga, 23, was arrested soon after but, insisting he knew nothing about the drugs, the charges against him were quickly dropped.

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At the time of her arrest, Koga had been heavily pregnant with her second child and ended up giving birth to a baby boy in prison a few days later.

Facing a possible 20 year jail-term, overcome with emotion, the small time drug-dealer broke down in court on December 29 after being handed a late Christmas present by the Magistrate.

Her relief was shared by her watching relatives, including her husband, with one family member exclaiming in Shona, “Ngwari baripo, to tenda Ngwari chete (God is there, we serve a living God).”

The jail term was backdated to the time of her incarceration, meaning she will be free by 27 September this year, providing Koga pays the P10 grand fine before 6th February.

Failure to meet this deadline will see her prison term doubled to two years.

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In mitigation, Koga, who pleaded guilty, had begged for leniency, telling court, “I plead that court be lenient with me as I gave birth in prison and the baby is always crying. I was trying to make some money and I promise I will never commit an offence again in my life.”

Upon receiving her lenient sentence, it was the mother’s turn to cry.

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