In a recent court appearance before Kezi magistrate Busani Sibanda, three men faced charges of theft after being caught stealing scrap metal from a farm owned by the husband of a Member of Parliament.
Shelton Nyathi (20), Thulani Ngwenya (23) and Samuel Mugwagwa (37) appeared before Kezi resident magistrate Busani Sibanda facing theft charges.
Nyathi pleaded guilty to the charge while Ngwenya and Mugwagwa pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In their joint defence Ngwenya and Mugwagwa said Nyathi told them that the farm was owned by his late uncle and he had requested them to accompany him to collect scrap metal. As such the State failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt therefore after a full trial Ngwenya and Mugwagwa were not found guilty and they were acquitted.
Nyathi was found guilty and was sentenced to serve 24 months in jail.
However, 10 months were suspended on condition that within a period of five years he does not commit any offence that involves dishonesty and if convicted he would be sentenced without the option of a fine.
The remaining 14 months were suspended on condition that he performs 490 hours of community service at Kezi magistrate courts.
In sentencing him the magistrate noted that Nyathi had planned to steal from a farm which is owned by Member of Parliament (quota-system) Ross Moyo’s husband and Christopher Ncube who is the aide to his wife.
In mitigation Nyathi said he was an orphan and told court that he stays with his 74-year-old brother-in-law. What further mitigated him was that all the property which they were caught stealing was recovered.
Circumstances are that on 7 October the trio travelled from Kezi Business Centre and went to Ncube’s farm in a truck and were caught loading scrap metal onto a truck leading to their arrest.