A 23-year-old Zimbabwean man, Mbekezeli Nxumalo has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of car theft.
During the trial, Mbekezeli Nxumalo admitted stealing a car from his drinking mate so he could visit his lover in his rural home in Lupane. Unfortunately for him, the car broke down before he could reach his destination.
He then left it by the roadside and went to inform its owner, Heymen Khuphe. The State represented by Siphiwe Mhlanga provided additional context, revealing that Nxumalo had initially planned to steal the car and only ditched it in Lupane due to a technical glitch.
He told the court that Nxumalo met Khuphe at a drinking spot in the city centre and they started boozing together. The duo drank deep into the night, and when the time came to go their separate ways, Khuphe offered Nxumalo a ride.
Upon reaching Khuphe’s city residence, Nxumalo remained inside, seemingly asleep, while Khuphe briefly left the car with the keys in the ignition.
However, upon returning a few minutes later, he was met with the gut-wrenching realisation that his prized possession had vanished into thin air.
Khuphe then promptly reported the incident to the police. Subsequent investigations led to Nxumalo’s arrest, confirming Khuphe’s suspicions.
While passing the sentence, the court acknowledged that Nxumalo was a first-time offender who spared them the trouble of a lengthy trial by owning up to his wrongdoing. The magistrate also took note of Nxumalo’s remorseful demeanour during the proceedings.