18-year-old found guilty of theft at a Diepsloot School

 

Thabang Segwele (18) was found guilty of housebreaking and theft by the Randburg Magistrates’ Court on 7 September.

State prosecutor Linda Dlamini told the court that on 2 April, Segwele stole a computer and a WiFi router from the office of the principal at a Diesploot school. Segwele pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted that he knew that his conduct was unlawful.

In mitigation, defence attorney Tuelo Thomas told the court that Segwele was a suitable candidate for a wholly suspended sentence as he is a first-time offender. He also pleaded with the court to not declare Segwele unfit to possess a firearm as this might hamper his future employment opportunities.

“The accused might seek employment as a security guard or police officer,” Thomas said.

He also went on to point out that the accused went to school until Grade 9, was unmarried and had no dependents.

Dlamini was at a loss for words, considering Segwele’s age, but pointed out that the nature of the offence was prevalent in the jurisdiction of the Randburg courts. She could not immediately state what sentence she deemed appropriate.

Magistrate Theosophy Leshaba asked Segwele if any of his family members were present in court and his response was no. He told the court that he was living alone in a shack in Diepsloot.

He said his mother died in 2005 and he used to live with his sister but now she lives with her boyfriend in another section in Dieploot. The shack that he lives in belonged to his mother. He also told the court that he doesn’t know his father’s whereabouts.

Handing down sentence, Leshaba told Segwele that he was the youngest offender she had dealt with this year, adding that what counts in his favour is that he is a first-time offender.

“What you must know is that crime doesn’t pay and as from today you have earned yourself a criminal record,” Leshaba said.

She handed him a two-year sentence, wholly suspended for five years.

The magistrate told Segwele that she didn’t expect or want to see him in court again.

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Belinda Pheto

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