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I thought Archers was juice - SEC man

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By MBONGISENI NDZIMANDZE - SWAZI TIMES-31-Jul-2012

MBABANE – An employee of the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) yesterday left the court in stitches when he told Magistrate Siphosini Dlamini that he drank a cider called Archers, thinking it was juice.

Archers is an alcohol drink categorised under ciders and its alcoholic concentration is 4.5 per cent. Fanele Mtsetfwa was arrested along Sozisa Road next to Total Gardens Filling Station in Mbabane.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of drink-driving. He said he was watching a football game on television at La Casserole when he decided to buy Archers which he thought was juice. Mtsetfwa, who was conducting his own defence, said when he took the first sip, it tasted like juice and it never dawned to him that it was alcohol.

"Your Worship, I only took three sips of Archers and I was not aware that it was not juice.

"I only realised that it was alcohol when I was arrested by the police. My mission at La Casserole was to watch soccer," he said. Mtsetfwa said at face value, even the container of Archers looks like that of a juice.

He said in his entire life, he had never taken any intoxicating substance or drug with a narcotic substance. In mitigation, he implored the court to be lenient since he was a first offender.

He also made an undertaking never to commit a similar offence in future.

Magistrate Dlamini found him guilty as per his own plea and sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment with an option of a E1 500 fine. The magistrate told Mtsetfwa that he did not expect to see him before his court for the same offence.


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