South African national jailed 15 years


THE South African-based woman Ncombo Theodorah Tobeka who was found in possession of cocaine was yesterday sentenced to an effective 15-years in jail — the minimum statutory sentence for the offence.


Tobeka (48) was found in possession of two kilogrammes of the dangerous drug.

She was convicted on her own plea of guilty to the offence when she appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei.

She was intercepted soon after landing at Harare International Airport while carrying the illicit drug on December 18, 2013.

That was after police detectives had received information that a female drug dealer from Colombia was aboard an Ethiopian Airline plane landing at the airport around midday and was carrying dangerous drugs.

The detectives made a follow-up and liaised with immigration officials for her identification.

At around 1 o’clock, the plane landed and Tobeka disembarked. She was identified upon presenting her South African passport to an immigration official for clearance and detectives were alerted.

The detectives monitored her from the immigration cubicles and intercepted her when she was just about to leave the Zimra cubicles heading out of the airport. A search was conducted on her suitcase from which was retrieved four textbooks, each containing two plastic envelopes glued to both side covers with a whitish substance.

The eight envelopes weighed 2,108kg. Field tests were conducted and the substance tested positive for cocaine.

During mitigation, Tobeka of Qweqwe Location, Umtata in Eastern Cape, South Africa, had pleaded for leniency saying she was a first offender and unfamiliar with the country’s laws.

However, prosecutor Sharon Mashavira dismissed her defence saying it was common knowledge that cocaine was a banned drug worldwide.

“Offences of this nature are now prevalent. The courts are supposed to take a robust approach and not trivialise the offence. Cocaine is an extremely dangerous drug that can affect people’s mental stability,” Mashavira said.


  1. Eish that was too harsh a sentence aso uyu muimbi wekutsika nokuuraya munhu makamuburitsa anonzani dudu manhenga.musadaroba.ndarwadziwa stereki

  2. @ jumbo Its e minimum sentence ,n remember e drug rinopengesa vanhu kuita madunyasi n whats more its banned world over.So there is need to scare away would be offenders or else u want zimbabwe to be a country of zombies. case yawataura viz-a-viz that was an accident but this one is preconceived n premeditated

  3. Because she was a South African but the Chinese guy caught with more than 17 elephant tasks at the same port is court free without even a warning after the nation lost so many precious animals in Hwange from cyanide. Kikikiki that’s our Zim. The locals were given as more than 40 years in jail for the offence will our east friends walk court free. Better our brother were trying to benefit from their natural resources coz of unemployment though using illegal way and ruthless way but the Chinese can do what ever they want. Cry my beloved country cry my dear sisters and brothers such is our country law towards its people. Mutemo wekwedu vakarerekera divi rimwe zvichienderana nokuti wabuda mumba maani. (LKZ)

  4. What are the short-term effects of cocaine?

    Cocaine causes a short-lived, intense high that is immediately followed by the opposite—intense depression, edginess and a craving for more of the drug.
    People who use it often don’t eat or sleep properly. They can experience greatly increased heart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. The drug can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile and anxious—even when they aren’t high.
    Regardless of how much of the drug is used or how frequently, cocaine increases the risk that the user will experience a heart attack, stroke, seizure or respiratory (breathing) failure, any of which can result in sudden death.

    What are the long-term effects of cocaine?

    The phrase “dope fiend” was originally coined many years ago to describe the negative side effects of constant cocaine use.
    As tolerance to the drug increases, it becomes necessary to
    take greater and greater quantities to get the same high.
    Prolonged daily use causes sleep deprivation and loss of
    appetite. A person can become psychotic and begin to
    experience hallucinations.
    As cocaine interferes with the way the brain processes
    chemicals, one needs more and more of the drug just to feel “normal.” People who become addicted to cocaine (as with most other drugs) lose interest in other areas of life.
    Coming down from the drug causes depression so severe that a person will do almost anything to get the drug—even
    commit murder.
    And if he or she can’t get cocaine, the depression can get so intense it can drive the addict to suicide.

    That’s why you get 15years minimum if caught. Don’t do it. Drug is a killer!!!

    • You are very correct, Observer, we cannot tolerate alien and destructive habits such as the use of cocaine. Rape and murder must also be treated in the same manner!

  5. She is lucky to get a custodial sentence. All over the world, ferrying drugs carries a minimum of 10 years mandatory imprisonment and in most Asian countries it is the death sentence. Why must Zim be an exception or soft target? Comparing this with other crimes is as inane as it is to be poorly informed.

  6. Thank you magistrate. The sentence is clear to those who would want to try their luck in Zimbabwe. We might have other crimes in Zim but not those cocaine related. GWEJAI.

  7. she ws a drug mole .they shld find the druglord who used her

    Most great pple were once arrestd for drug possesion .dont give up hustling

  8. Yes deterrant sentences are recommended for such offences……but am I missing something here? Was she really carrying 2,108 kgs of drugs in 8 envelops? They must be VERY BIG envelops indeed! Please the authorities must re-weigh the stuff, maybe it was 2,108gms, in which case her sentence must be reviewed. I AM NOT CONDONING HER ACTIONS….all such people must be punished but the punishment must be commensurate with the gravity of the offence.

  9. let her rot in our primitive and inhuman bronze age dungeons. And the honourable court was too lenient on this moron, giving her only the minimum sentence! I think such mercenaries deserve even the death sentence as in Islamic countries. why did she not go to SA wth her evil parcel, why here. Batai munhu.

  10. Hazvisizvoba. The sentence is too harsh. Zvingani zviri kuparwa nema Zimbabweans ari ku South Africa zvichisiiwa zvakadaro; zvimwe zvichingotsiurwa. Tizive zvatinotaura ma Zimbabweans. What about the Chinese who are stripping us naked of our precious resources? Let’s join hands and get the Chinese out of our land rather than pestering other fellow Africans.

  11. comrades, these are matters of law and, by nature, the law is no respector of persons. It is never about being Zimbabwean, Chinese or South African. Whosoever breaks it will face its full indignation, umingled with any mercy in some cases. Where was this woman taking this drug and for what purpose? It is only the uninitiated in our midst who wail about the so-called harshness of this lenient sentence when, in actual fact, the learned judje handed her only the minimum sentence. If i were the judge i was going to give her the maximum sentence, since the objective is not to punish but to rehabilitate. thank God by the time she comes out, if she ever will at all, she wld have learnt quite a number of lessons the hard way.

    At least we are better, the courts followed the law. are we aware that some people have been in remand prison at Abhu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay without trial since September 11 2001? We better teach the Americans justice. akadii kuenda nezvinhu zvake izvozvo kwamandela wake anomunzwira tsitsi? Let comrade Zimondi and crew rehabilitate her guys.

  12. The only good thing coming out of this saga is that it teaches South Africans to stop their holier than thou attitudes towards foreigners in South Africa. Crime is a universal and international problem, it knows no nationality. South Africans always claim foreigners are doing crime in their country, its as if they themselves are not committing crimes in other countries. This is an international problem, we should stop emphasising the fact that the crime was committed by a foreigner; this xenophobic. Even if you goy rid of all foreigners from your country, there will still be crime!!

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