By Tanaka Mrewa
A ‘serial’ car thief yesterday found God in court and suddenly asked to be given time to pray in the middle of a trial before pleading guilty and confessing his misdeeds.
Farai Mlauzi (32) of Rangemore suburb, who is already serving a 19 years jail term for robbery and carjacking, gave in to a prosecutor’s cross examination and revised an earlier plea of not guilty.
He was jointly charged with Hloniphani Ndlovu (31) of Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo.
The pair would burn the hijacked cars after stripping them of valuables.
Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza appeared bemused when Mlauzi suddenly changed his stance.
“I’m tired of all these lies Your Worship. May this court forgive me for wasting its time,” said Mlauzi.
“We committed these offences. I told Ndlovu not to take the cell phone (police used the gadget to track the duo). There’s no way the police would just pick on us and allege that we committed an offence. God has spoken to me. I’m willing to confess and tell the court all that transpired but before I do that may I be granted permission to pray,” said Mlauzi.
Mr Mabeza granted the request.
“God, creator of heaven and earth, I’m sorry about these crimes that I have committed. I won’t do it again. Please give me strength to tell the whole truth during this trial. Amen,” he prayed.
He thereafter went on to narrate his story to the court.
“We work for a boss called Brighton Ndlovu. He is a tout at a garage in the city centre. He is the one who ordered us to steal these cars and burn them to conceal evidence. I’ve been lying all along in order to protect him. Enough is enough. I’m tired of all this. If the police could come for me at prison I would lead them to Ndlovu. He stays in Rangemore,” he said.
Mlauzi soon after confessing asked the magistrate to ensure he was not put in the same cell with his co-accused.
“After this confession Your Worship I don’t think my friend and I can still live in the same cell back at prison. I foresee violence erupting. May you please arrange that I be given a separate cell from him for safety reasons.”
Mr Mabeza remanded Mlauzi to Friday for sentence and Ndlovu who has pleaded not guilty was remanded to March 10.
Prosecuting, Mr Tinashe Dzipe, told the court that on January 27 this year, Mlauzi, Ndlovu and another accomplice who is still at large, asked for a lift to Esigodini from Zhou.
“Mlauzi asked Zhou to turn at Falcon turnoff. He, Ndlovu and the other accused person ordered Zhou to disembark from his vehicle. They assaulted him but he managed to escape into a nearby bush. They took $40, a worksuit, a tool box and two cell phones before torching the vehicle,” said Mr Dzipe.The Chronicle