By Rutendo Ngara
A BULAWAYO woman who allegedly defrauded a local musician, Mrs Sandra Ndebele-Sibindi, of $100 000 in a foreign currency deal, will know her fate on her bail application today.
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 Kumalo suburb after she gave them the money to source United States dollars.
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 ruling.
In her application through her lawyer, Mr Costa Dube, she argued that she was a proper candidate for bail.
She offered to pay $500 bail and to report twice a week at her nearest police station until the matter is finalised.
Mr Dube said her client was of fixed abode and would not abscond if released on bail.
He 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.
He said the complainant sued the accused person in a civil process and has been paid in excess of $8 000 in reimbursement.
The State, which was represented by Mr Denmark Chihombe opposed the application arguing that Gwemende was facing a serious offence hence was likely to abscond if granted bail.
Prosecuting, Mr 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.
Mrs Ndebele-Sibindi reported the matter to the police, leading to Gwemende’s arrest. The Chronicle