A WOMAN from Bulawayo who claimed that she lost almost $90 000 allegedly belonging to musician, Mrs Sandra Ndebele-Sibindi, to thieves has been arrested for making a false report after it emerged that she was trying to convert the money to personal use.
Lindiwe Ndlovu of Emganwini suburb was convicted on her own plea of guilty to deliberately supplying false information to a public official by Gwanda magistrate, Ms Nomagugu Ncube.
She was sentenced to six months imprisonment of which three months were suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar offence within the next three years. The remaining three months were further suspended on condition that she performs 105 hours of community service at Phakama Clinic in Gwanda.
In mitigation, Ndlovu said she made the false report in a bid to raise money for medication as she suffers from cancer.
“I admit that I made a false report by saying the money was stolen. The money wasn’t stolen but I wanted to use it so that I could cover my medical bills as I’m suffering from blood cancer,” she said.
Prosecuting, Miss Ethel Mahachi said Ndlovu made a false report on October 16 at Colleen Bawn Police Station that she had lost $88 330 to thieves.
“On 16 October at around 5PM, Ndlovu went to Colleen Bawn Police Station and filed a report to the effect that thieves had stolen cash amounting to $88 330 from her while she was in Colleen Bawn. Police carried out investigations which revealed that the report was false as Ndlovu diverted the money for her own use,” she said.
In the police report, Ndlovu said she lost the money to thieves while on her way from Beitbridge to Bulawayo after a vehicle she had boarded took off with her valuables leaving her behind.
She said the money, $80 000 in bond notes and US$ 8 330, was in a suitcase.
The vehicle which had three other people, two men and a woman, stopped for a recess in Colleen Bawn and they took off leaving her behind, she claimed.
The money in question reportedly belongs to Mrs Ndebele- Sibindi and she had offered it to an illegal money changer, Ms Simangani Gumede, who had “sub contracted” Ndlovu in their illegal money changing business.
After the false report was made, Ms Gumede accused Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi of demanding that she repays the money back. Ms Gumede said Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi had allegedly forced her to sign an affidavit saying she would pay US$1 000 every day until the debt is cleared. She said Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi had also accused her of stage-managing the theft.
When contacted for comment, Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi claimed that she did not know Ms Gumede and had nothing to do with the matter.