Rastafarian family faces dagga charges
A father, mother and daughter in the dock - not a common sight. But yesterday a Rastafarian family appeared in the Simon's Town Magistrate's Court on charges of cultivating and dealing in dagga.
It is not the first time Gareth Prince has faced dagga-related charges.
A decade ago he took his fight to the Constitutional Court where he argued it was his constitutional right to use dagga for religious purposes.
He also attempted to have the Cape Law Society admit him as an attorney, something it would not do because he had a conviction for dagga possession.
While Prince's bid was unsuccessful, he might just return to the highest court in the land, according to his lawyer, Naven Pillay.
Pillay - who is working on the case pro bono - said Prince, his wife, Juanita Adams, and daughter Samantha Adams were arrested at their home in Simon's Town on June 6.
"Police did not have a search warrant, they just barged in. We are making representations to have the case withdrawn because his constitutional rights were violated," said Pillay.
"They were not even given a vegetarian meal - as you know Rastafarians are vegetarians - while they were in custody. They arrested all of them, including their 22-month-old baby."
The family have been charged for growing 27 dagga plants and 55 seedlings on their property.
In an interview with the Sunday Times in 2001, Prince said dagga is a "sacrament within the Rastafarian movement".
"We eat it, we bath in it, we bake with it, we puff it from time to time," he said.
The three are out on bail and the case has been transferred to the Khayelitsha Regional Court.