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Vincent Cruywagen, Daily Maverick

24/06/26, 11:00

A lawyer who allegedly tried to smuggle 79 sachets of cannabis sealed in ‘clingwrap plastic’ and 100 Mandrax tablets into the Kuils River Magistrates’ Court has been denied bail. He faces two similar charges in other courts, for allegedly distributing drugs to dealers in the holding cells.

This report from the Daily Maverick, published on 24 June 2024.


Cape Town lawyer Ayanda Lennox Pupa was denied bail in the Kuils River Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 21 June 2024 after the State informed the court that Pupa was already on bail of R3,000 in connection with two similar crimes.


The Kuils River court charge stems from Pupa’s arrest on Tuesday, 4 June 2024 thanks to a court orderly’s vigilance.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said a police member deployed at the court was called to assist the security at the main entrance to the court where a suspicious-looking man had been apprehended.


“When the police officer arrived at the entrance he found an unknown man in possession of suspicious parcels. The police officer opened the parcels in his presence and discovered 79 sachets filled with cannabis sealed in ‘clingwrap plastic’ and 100 Mandrax tablets.


It transpired, said Swartbooi, that the suspect was “as an attorney who was supposed to represent a suspect at the magistrates’ court”. The 41-year-old was detained on a charge of drug possession.


During the bail hearing on Friday the court heard evidence from the State that Pupa had entered the court fully robed although he didn’t have clients appearing on that day.


The prosecution said Pupa had allegedly committed the same type of crime on a number of occasions, “in which he went to court, went to court cells, and gave drugs to drug dealers or people in the cells, sometimes as cell phones”.


Pupa has previously been charged with allegedly supplying drugs to inmates in holding cells across multiple courts.


On 29 June 2022, Pupa was released on R20,000 bail by the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court after being caught trying to smuggle drugs to his client, who was appearing in court. Pupa appeared in court on 15 June 2022 to represent his client, Vuyolwethu Nobuntu (29), who was being detained at Pollsmoor Prison.


Pupa was charged with possession and dealing in drugs after police caught him allegedly trying to hand a sealed package of drugs to Nobuntu. The package contained 60 Mandrax tablets, 20 units of cocaine, four packets of tik (methamphetamine) and two parcels of dagga.


When Pupa was questioned by police about the package he allegedly said it contained medication for Nobuntu. However, an affidavit by detective Yongama Luyenge said Nobuntu told the police he did not know the accused and didn’t know what had been handed to him.


But when police officers searched Nobuntu they discovered that Pupa allegedly handed him a packet of drugs in plastic wrap with sellotape.


Pupa is alleged to have apologised, claiming he was drunk and didn’t know the package contained drugs.

In September 2021, Pupa was arrested for alleged possession of six packets of methamphetamine (known as tik or meth) and 196 Mandrax tablets at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court.


A court orderly became suspicious of a plastic bag he was carrying, and on searching him allegedly discovered the drugs in twists of paper torn from an advertising pamphlet. The police allege Pupa had intended to smuggle in the drugs for a client. They put their estimated street value at R9,600.


He was granted R3,000 bail by the same court on charges of dealing in drugs, alternatively possession or use, under the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act.


Pupa has said he will plead not guilty at his trial. The State is in a process of combining the three cases to present in arguments when a trial date has been set.

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