VENDOR SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS
By: Mondli Ndlovu
A 36-year-old man was sentenced to a minimum of two years imprisonment by the Durban Magistrate court yesterday.
Nkosinathi Sikhakhane, a street vendor, was found guilty of house breaking with intent to commit theft.
Sikhakhane was apprehended by police after two witnesses placed him at the scene of the crime, along with an accomplice who has not yet been apprehended by the police.
Sikhakhane pleaded not guilty to the charge of house breaking.
However, two witnesses told the court during the trial, that upon entering the building they had heard a banging noise coming from the other room. As they went to investigate the source of the noise, they saw Sikhakhane jumping out of the window, along with his other accomplice.
The Magistrate Selby Mlaba, said that the testimony of the two witnesses was based on what they saw and that they had no reason to give false testimonies.
Upon giving his judgement the Magistrate said that the evidence of the defence was farfetched and highly improbable.
He added that, “The state managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed guilty as charged.”
Before the sentence was handed out, the defence attorney scrapped for points to try and mitigate his client’s sentence.
“Your honour, my client understands that this is not the first time that he has been found guilty of a crime. He is asking for the court to take into consideration that he has already spent 7 months in prison while still awaiting trial,” Defence Attorney Sindiswa Ngcobo pleaded on behalf of her client.
She asked that he be given a suspended sentence.
However, the prosecutor for the state Gayle Grey Long objected to this.
“Your honour, the accused has a long history of crime, including armed robbery, being in possession of an unlicensed fire arm and theft”, said the prosecutor for the state.
Sikhakhane was eventually given a 2-year jail term, by the Magistrate court of Durban.