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Man sentenced twice same day in different courtrooms

By Bahle Gama

A 36-year-old man has been sentenced twice in different courtrooms on the same day.

On Wednesday, Xolani ‘Mapa’ Gondwe of Msunduza was sentenced to over four years in prison with an option of a fine of E6 500 respectively for two crimes committed on separate events last year.

Gondwe’s first appearance was before Magistrate Temantimandze Shongwe where he was in the company of his 21-year-old co-accused whom he was arrested with in conjunction with a housebreaking and E10 000 alcohol theft incident that took place at Msunduza in April 2022.

Gondwe and Simanga ‘Twin’ Shabangu (21) were on New Year’s arrested after being found in possession of a spear at Mntulwini, Msunduza, and in the process were discovered to be suspects in the offence.

On April 25, 2022, the duo reportedly broke into the Siphosemandla Bottle Store at Msunduza where they acted jointly in furtherance of a common purpose and stole the alcohol. They both pleaded guilty to the charge, however, on the charge of illegally possessing a spear, Shabangu made a plea of guilt alone.

During Mitigation, Gondwe told the court that some of the alcohol they had stolen was returned to the owner and further pleaded for leniency.
“I am also unemployed and reside with a four-year-old who is solely dependent on me,” he said.

Shabangu also pleaded for leniency from the court and stated that he had asked to be taken back to school because it was difficult to secure a job. He further told the court that the spear was for protection.

“The spear was for self-defence Your Worship, I had not planned on intentionally stabbing anyone,” he said.

The court sentenced the duo to 15 months in prison with an option of a fine of E1 500 for stealing the alcohol and Shabangu was additionally sentenced to five months with an option of E500 and the sentence was ordered to run concurrently.

On the same day, Gondwe made a solo appearance before Senior Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati for a robbery that he reportedly committed on December 17, 2022, in the Mgababa area, where he stole items valued at E1 933. These included a Nokia cellphone, two pots, cooking oil, a 10 kg mealie meal, and a roll of tissue amongst other things.

He told the court that he had been intoxicated when he committed the offence and pleaded for leniency and further asked to be allowed to apologize to the complainant.

Senior Magistrate Vilakati sentenced Gondwe to three years in prison with an option of a fine of E5 000.

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