A 17-year-old boy stole R34, 600 from his stepmother and spent all of it, purportedly on food and small electronic gadgets, with his friend, a magistrate heard recently.The boy’s stepmother from Nkulumane suburb had stashed the money in a bag in her bedroom for safekeeping.
The teenager together with his 12-year-old sibling, his stepmother’s son, accidentally came across the money which amounted to R45, 000 while looking for their lost watch.
They then grabbed R34,600 and blew it. Nothing was recovered. The teenager was convicted of theft on his own plea of guilty by Provincial magistrate, Willard Maphios Moyo. He was warned and cautioned.
Magistrate Moyo told the boy he was sparing him prison on the understanding he does not commit a similar offence. He said since the boy was a Form Four pupil, it was not desirable to send such juveniles to jail.
“What’s, however, disturbing is that you stole from your parents, people who are responsible for your upkeep and education. Had you been an adult, this court would have, without hesitation, sent you to jail,” said Moyo.
He added: “Also a sentence of community service would not be appropriate since you’re a pupil who is supposed to be concentrating on your academic work particularly so since you’re doing Form Four which is an examination class.”
The boy told the court that he discovered the money while looking for his watch with his sibling.
“My sibling started stealing the money from the bag. Initially I rebuked him but I eventually got tempted and I started stealing as well. When they discovered the offence they sent me back to my maternal grandmother whom I’m staying with. My mother is late,” said the boy.
He said he shared the money with his friend and they used it to buy small things such as earphones and mostly food items, among other things.
Prosecuting, Mufaro Mageza told the court that the boy’s stepmother received R45, 000 from relatives in South Africa to buy building materials.
“She put the money in the bedroom inside a bag. In the period between February 19 and March 17 this year, the boy and his sibling would steal the money on different occasions while their parents were not at home,” said Mageza.
He said when the stepmother discovered that some money was missing, she interrogated the boy who admitted to having stolen the money. The matter was reported to the police leading to the teenager’s arrest.
In November, last year, an 18-year-old woman from Bulawayo’s Entumbane suburb stole her grandfather’s money amounting to $8, 000 and R3,000 before she fled to South Africa for a shopping spree.
Sakhekile Ndlovu stole the money from her grandparent’s bedroom. She opened the wardrobe and unlocked the safe where the money was hidden.
Ndlovu was given a three year suspended sentence on condition of good behaviour.