Taxi driver steals to ‘pay off’ court fine!

Vuyelwa Sibindi
A notorious Bulawayo-based taxi driver appeared in court for the second time in less than a week after stealing sausages from a local supermarket.

Appearing at the Bulawayo magistrate’s court, Lovemore Sithole (30), faced charges of theft after he was caught red-handed by a security guard stashing two packets of sausages and two 440 ml Clere body lotion in his pants.

“You are back here again? Last week I ordered you to pay a fine of $30 after being caught committing the same offence but you continue stealing,” said presiding magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi.

“My operating license had expired your worship and I was forced to find ways of fending for my family. I was also under pressure to raise money to pay the fine that is why I stole the lotions,” said Sithole.

However, Mkhwananzi was not moved by Sithole’s explanation saying: “The courts will not condone such behaviour it seems that the fine did not serve as a deterrent to you as you committed the second offence just five days after my ruling.”

Shockingly, Sithole was only worried about not paying the fine as he thanked the magistrate for scrapping the $30 fine.

“I have been failing to pay the fine and to fend for my family. If the court has cancelled the $30 fine I am a happy man even though I still have to fend for my family which will be difficult when I am behind bars,” said Sithole.

But with a previous suspended sentence hanging over Sithole a jail sentence was inevitable.

“This is a court of law not an adult playground. A prison sentence will serve as a warning to other criminals like you. Everyone is facing economic hardships but they are not resorting to stealing,” he said.

Sithole was sentenced to four months in prison of which two months were suspended on condition of good behaviour for the next two years.