The self-proclaimed King Khoisan, who has been occupying the grounds of the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest, has appeared on cannabis dealing charges in the Pretoria Magistrates Court. The case was postponed until November 2022.
King Khoisan remains defiant in the face of the charges against him – the illegal cultivation of, and, dealing in cannabis, and the failure to wear a face mask in public when ordered to do so by a policeman. He appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on 6 September 2022 after his arrest at the Union Buildings in January this year, and the matter was postponed to November 2022.
The "king" said more than 150 officers from Tshwane Metro Police Department, the SAPS and the K9 unit raided his Union Buildings protest camp on that day, and he was dragged off to a police van clutching his cannabis plants. He has had two previous court appearances and is out of jail on his own recognisances, and is challenging the validity of his arrest.
He was quoted in the Citizen newspaper on 7 September 2022 that “as the first nation, we are placed on trial to say we are dealers in dagga. I don’t know the story about dealing in dagga,” he said. “How can you arrest the first nation of the land, the people who were here before legislation and used cannabis to heal others”.
The king said everyone knew about the healing properties of the plant. “We are here to say, as the first nation of the land, we cannot be unfairly treated,” he said.
Marijuana Board of SA (MBSA) Gauteng secretary and Rastafarian Steven Thapelo Khunou said they were disappointed by the postponement of the case.
He told the Citizen: “King Khoisan was heavily harassed at the door of parliament at the Union Buildings. It was a disgrace that such a man could be so manhandled for a few trees of cannabis. They have never apologised,” he said.
He said he was angry because there was no interpreter for the Khoisan king, but there were interpreters for people who spoke foreign languages.
“It shows the government does not respect their logo of unity and diversity because how would you even talk to the king.”
He said the cannabis community will march on 17 September 2022 to national key points across the country after the court ruled the grow model of a private cannabis club illegal.