Zam­bian na­tional buys stolen Ford Ranger, ar­rested for car theft

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Sandile Nkam­bule

Awill­ing buyer and will­ing seller sit­u­a­tion has landed a Zam­bian na­tional in hot soup as he has been ar­rested for the theft of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle, a Ford Ranger worth E280 000.

Lafu Pear­son Chilukuta (45) of Manzini has been ar­rested by the Po­lice Se­ri­ous Crimes Unit (Lukhozi) and has been charged with con­tra­ven­ing the Theft of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act of 1991 as he is al­leged to have stolen the ve­hi­cle from Bar­ber­ton in the Repub­lic of South Africa.

Chilukuta how­ever screams in­no­cence in the of­fence he has been charged with and claims he bought the car from an­other man with­out know­ing that it had been stolen.

The Zam­bian na­tional who is res­i­dent in the king­dom of Eswa­tini yes­ter­day filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion for bail at the High Court where the mat­ter was be­fore Judge Max­ine Lang­wenya as he wants out of jail pend­ing his trial.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet Chilukuta of Mkholo Lon­sundvu flats in Manzini is charged with theft in that upon Oc­to­ber 26 2018 at or near Bar­ber­ton Extension 11 on south Africa, the ac­cused per­son did wrong­fully, un­law­fully and with in­tent steal a Ford Ranger Dou­ble Cab white in colour val­ued at E280 000 and theft be­ing a con­tin­u­ous of­fence, was found in pos­ses­sion of the ve­hi­cle at Manzini Milling in the Manzini Re­gion on Oc­to­ber 29 2018 be­ing the prop­erty of Lunga Gor­don Mav­im­bela of South Africa.

On the se­cond count, he is charged with the of­fence of con­tra­ven­ing the Theft of mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act 16 of 1991 in that on Oc­to­ber 29 at Manzini Milling he was found driv­ing the Ford Ranger which had fal­si­fied reg­is­tra­tion plate bear­ing HSD 218 CM which should had read HTL 429 MP and thus con­tra­vened the said act.

Rep­re­sented by Manzini based lawyer Machawe Dlamini, the ac­cused in his af­fi­davit sub­mit­ted that he was ap­proached by one Khum­bu­lani Shongwe who had heard that he was in need of a , a pick up van for his busi­ness and Shongwe came with the mo­tor ve­hi­cle and ad­vised that it was for sale.


He sub­mit­ted that he be­came in­ter­est in the car and in­formed the said Shongwe that he wanted it but was to with­draw money from the back to fa­cil­i­tate its pay­ment on a Mon­day as Shongwe had ap­proached him on a week­end.

“I asked to test drive the car and he said I could have the car un­til Mon­day to sat­isfy my­self with its con­di­tion and per­for­mance, how­ever the po­lice from Lukhozi unit came to my house and told me that they have been led to my place by a track­ing de­vise from the mo­tor ve­hi­cle, I told them where I got the car from and fur­ther gave them Shongwe’s cell phone num­ber who when called said he was on his way to Durban was coming back the same day,” he al­leged.

How­ever when the po­lice called Shongwe for the se­cond time, his cell phone num­ber was no longer avail­able on the net­work.

He al­leged that he was never at Bar­ber­ton on Oc­to­ber 26 2018, the day the car was stolen as he was in the King­dom of Eswa­tini.

He in­formed the Court that his con­tin­ued in­car­cer­a­tion has se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions since he is a sickly per­son who has high blood pres­sure and that his life is at great risk as he does not have a spare one.

He sub­mit­ted that he is self -em­ployed as he runs a con­sul­tancy busi­ness and has clients who have al­ready paid him for his ser­vices as he is sup­posed to train and make pre­sen­ta­tions sched­uled for the week of Novem­ber 5 to 7 hence he stands to lose busi­ness.

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