KNYSNA NEWS - The appearance in Knysna Court A on Wednesday 10 January of two suspects who were bust for cultivating dagga at their house did not happen because the docket was declared "missing".
Police had confirmed in a statement to the Knysna-Plett Herald that last month they raided a private home in central Knysna and found a nursery of 26 dagga trees being grown in the attic of the property.
Knysna police spokesperson Sergeant Chris Spies confirmed, "Two suspects aged 36 and 62 were arrested at their residence at Queen Street, Knysna on 14 December 2017 at about 17:00 on charges of cultivating of dagga."
Spies said information on possible illegal activities was received from a member of the public. The information was followed up and a search operation conducted at the premises. "Members of the police confiscated dagga trees and cultivating equipment at the house," adding that the suspects were later released and warned to appear in court this week.
"The names of the suspects may only be released after they appeared in court," Spies said.
Knysna-Plett Herald (KPH) reporters waited for the two suspects to appear before presiding magistrate Zukiswa Thafeni and by almost noon, when the accused still had not appeared, the issue of the mysterious missing document came to light.
Senior control prosecutor Johan Engelbrecht searched for a document referred to as an SAP 496 (a summons to appear in court) and did not find one.
The accused were then called out of court and asked to show Engelbrecht their relevant SAP 496 papers, which they duly produced.
Engelbrecht advised the accused to leave the court, telling them the police had not submitted their SAP 496 and as such the case was not on the roll for Wednesday.
KPH was advised to ask the police spokesperson where the docket was, and Spies duly replied to a query shortly after midday, stating, "This matter was brought to the attention of the Knysna SAPS management who immediately did a follow-up to determine the location of the said docket. Although it was found that the docket was not booked out to the Knysna Magistrate's Court in the morning as requested, the docket is not lost and appropriate steps will be taken to rectify immediately."
Spies concluded, "A new court date will be determined and the suspects will be warned to appear in court again."
'We bring you the latest Knysna, Garden Route news'