Sex plea saves teen con­vict from jail

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Andile Tshuma Court Re­porter

A CON­VICT, who stole a lap­top from a school where he was do­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice for theft, begged a court for a non-cus­to­dial sen­tence say­ing he could not sur­vive with­out sex in pri­son.

Brine Tshuma (19) of Bu­l­awayo’s Em­gan­wini sent the gallery roar­ing with laugh­ter when he said: “Ng­icela isig­webo saphan­dle. Ngi­funa ukudla in­yama yabadala, ayikho ejele (May I be granted a non-cus­to­dial sen­tence. I don’t want to miss sex while in pri­son).

West­ern Com­mon­age Mag­is­trate Ms Tancy Dube, baf­fled by Tshuma’s plea, asked the court in­ter­preter for an ex­pla­na­tion. Tshuma mum­bled his re­quest sev­eral times, draw­ing more laugh­ter, un­til the in­ter­preter ap­proached him. He whis­pered into the in­ter­preter’s ear, who laughed his lungs out be­fore telling the mag­is­trate that Tshuma was ap­peal­ing for a non-cus­to­dial sen­cence so he con­tin­ues to en­joy sex. The court or­derly bat­tled to re­store or­der as an­other ex­plo­sion of pro­longed laugh­ter erupted from the gallery.

Charged Ms Dube: “You want to eat ‘in­yama yabadala?’ Stop speak­ing like a vam­pire!” Tshuma apol­o­gised and said he had quit steal­ing. “I am sorry. I will never do that again,” he said. Ms Dube granted his wish. “I will give you one last chance. You are sen­tenced to six months im­pris­on­ment. This jail term is wholly sus­pended on con­di­tion that for the next five years, you will not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence,” said Ms Dube.

Last week, Tshuma told the court that he never in­tended to steal the lap­top but had taken it for safe-keep­ing. Yes­ter­day he pleaded guilty to steal­ing the lap­top.

Said Tshuma: “I did not in­tend to steal the lap­top. I took it for safe-keep­ing. The staffroom was empty so I fig­ured it was bet­ter for me to take it.”

Ms Dube queried why he had not taken the lap­top to the owner, who was in his of­fice. Tshuma apol­o­gised and said he had erred. Pros­e­cut­ing, Mr Mu­faro Mageza said Tshuma had been sen­tenced to do com­mu­nity ser­vice at Em­gan­wini High School for an ear­lier theft. The court heard that Tshuma took the lap­top to a friend who also re­sides in the same sub­urb, for safe keep­ing. The lap­top, worth $300, was re­cov­ered. — @andile_t­shuma

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