Press Release 06 September 2013
Cape dagga smokers gain third victory in High Court.*
In the Cape Town High Court on Tuesday 3rd September, dagga legalisation in South Africa got a further boost when the two dagga prosecutions of a member of the Rastafarian religion, Ras Menelek Barend Wentzel of Robertson, were ordered postponed in the lower courts in order to allow Wentzel to summons the state to scientifically justify the prohibition and to question the constitutionality of the law. Wentzel's legal papers and the application were facilitated by the Dagga Party of South Africa. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COURT ORDER
The Honourable Justice Le Grange expressed his concern in the court that granting of such an application would establish a precedent that would allow other dagga prosecutions to be stopped, but the Advocate for the National Prosecuting Authority had issued notice of intention to abide by the Court's decision. Wentzel's application was also not opposed by the other respondents, the Minister of Justice Radebe and the Magistrates for Robertson and Ashton. The legal precedents cited in the application (Stobbs and Clarke 27601/11 North Gauteng, and Prince 3298/13 and 20996/12 Western Cape) and Wentzel's claim of Section 9 rights to equality before the law prevented any opposition to his application.
Ras Wentzel has already served summons on the state to justify the prohibition with two other applicants, Jeremy Acton, (Leader of the Dagga Party), and Ms. Caro Hennegin of Mossel Bay. The case number for this summons is Case 4153/12. The papers can be viewed here: http://daggaparty.org/downloads/Legal_Resources/Case%204153%202012%20High%20Court%20WC.PDF
Wentzel's success in stopping his own prosecutions cements the legal precedent in the Western Cape, and he will join Ras Garreth Prince, who achieved this same right in Cape Town, on 3rd May 2013, and the Dagga Couple, Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke of North Gauteng, www.daggacouple.co.za) on the road to the High Court (and later, the Constitutional Court) to challenge the prohibition of dagga.
The Dagga Party would also like to announce a campaign to assist other citizens who face dagga charges to stop their prosecutions too. Legal papers can be provided and citizens will be guided through the legal process of serving the necessary papers on the respondents. Costs can be kept to a minimum if many applicants combine on one summons, but this initiative should be considered as a new mass action for legalisation through the courts. Citizens with dagga prosecutions can send their contact and case details via the Dagga Party website at www.daggaparty.org or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via inbox at www.facebook.com/Daggaparty