A Zimbabwean national, who broke into a tuck-shop and stole goods worth more than P1 000 in a bid to raise bus fare to visit his ailing granny, landed in hot soup when he was on Monday slapped with a two-year jail term.
Remorseful Nqobile Sibanda , 28 was convicted on his own plea of guilty to two counts of store breaking and theft and was consequently sentenced by Francistown principal magistrate Kgololesego Segabo. Sibanda admitted that on July 2, 2012 at Zibisani Modise’s homestead at Borolong village – some 35km northwest of Francistown – he broke into a tuck-shop and stole foodstuffs and other goods worth P1 358. Sentencing Sibanda, the magistrate took into consideration that the accused person pleaded guilty to the charges saying the plea of guilty shows a high degree of regret on the thief’s part.
“In mitigation, he also told the court he committed the offense in a bid to raise transport money in order for him to go and visit his ailing grandmother in Zimbabwe. And following his arrest, the accused mitigated that he learnt about the death of his grandmother,” said the presiding officer.
Segabo said Sibanda claimed that bad lucky seems to be following him after the death of his grandmother as one of the prisoners slapped him resulting in his eardrum being damaged. He also said the convict told the court that he has been in Botswana for the past nine years and that it was his first time to have a brush with the law.
However, the presiding officer was quick to point out that although the accused person did not benefit from this criminal activity following the recovery of all the stolen goods, cases of store braking and theft were prevalent in his jurisdiction.
Segabo said Modise had built a tuck-shop with an intention of earning a living through selling goods but he (the convict) found if fit to frustrate his plans of generating income for himself and the family. Thandie Poloko of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) represented the state while the accused person had no legal representation.