By Brenda Zinyuke
A BULAWAYO woman has appeared in court for allegedly defrauding a local musician, Mrs Sandra Ndebele-Sibindi, of $100 000 in a foreign currency deal.
Simangani Gwemende (45) of Emganwini suburb allegedly connived with Amanda Onwuchukwu and Lindiwe Ndlovu whose ages and residential addresses were not revealed in court to defraud the musician.
Onwuchukwu and Ndlovu are still at large.
Last year, Ndlovu appeared in court on fraud charges on the same matter but absconded after being granted bail.
Gwemende, Onwuchukwu and Ndlovu allegedly planned to dupe Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi of Khumalo suburb after she gave them the money to source United States dollars for her.
Gwemende was not asked to plead to fraud when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Lizwe Jamela. She was remanded in custody to today for bail hearing.
Prosecuting, Mr Denmark Chihombe said on October 12, 2018, Gwemende and her accomplices connived to defraud Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi.
“The accused person approached the complainant and misrepresented to her that she was in a position to source foreign currency for her.
“The complainant believed that the accused person and her accomplices were genuine and gave them $100 000 in exchange for United States dollars,” he said.
After receiving the money, Gwemende and Onwuchukwu allegedly roped in Ndlovu who proceeded to Colleen Bawn police station where she falsely reported that $80 100 and US$8 230 had been stolen from her.
Investigations into the alleged theft revealed that Ndlovu had made a false report to cover up that they had defrauded Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi.
The musician reported the matter to the police leading to Gwemende’s arrest.
Gwemende’s lawyer, Mr Costar Dube of Dube and Associates argued that Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi’s conduct was unlawful and the matter should be treated as a civil case and not a criminal one.
“Your worship, the complainant made the accused persons her runners in an illegal transaction and this was not the first time she did it. If an individual decides to wander outside the law, he or she cannot then expect the law to protect him or her. These charges are incompetent,” Mr Dube said.
“The complainant sued the accused person in a civil process and has been paid in excess of $8 000 in re-imbursement and now she expects the law to protect her again.
“I am of the opinion that the law will be over indulging especially in an offence that emanates from unlawful conduct. Therefore, I urge the court to close the charges against the accused person.” The Chronicle