By Leonard Ncube
A Victoria Falls teenager, who was recently sentenced to an effective four years in jail after being convicted of 18 counts of unlawful entry and theft, has appeared in court for 26 more cases of a similar nature.
Zinedine Zibusiso Siziba, who turned 17 last month and residing at 6662 Mkhosana, broke into several premises between January and last month and stole property worth $152 358, as well as 400 euros and US$150.
He targeted mostly laptops, cellphone handsets, accessories and cash in different currencies when he broke into lodges and several houses in Mkhosana, Chinotimba, Aerodrome and Low Density suburbs.
In most of cases, Siziba broke into the premises early in the morning, when the occupants were sleeping.
Siziba, who caused a stir at the Victoria Falls Magistrates’ Courts on Monday after he bolted out of the courtroom in an attempt to escape, was yesterday convicted on his own plea of guilty for all the 26 counts when he appeared before magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa.
He appeared in both leg irons and handcuffs, and denied stealing some property from two of the premises that he admitted breaking into.
“You initially pleaded guilty to everything and now you say you didn’t steal some of the property on two counts,” said Ms Maphosa. “If you were genuine you should have said this when you were asked during plea recording.
“The court will not let the State waste its resources calling witnesses for issues that are clear. The problem is that you entered those premises, which you admitted to as well, and that makes you accountable for the missing property.”
Ms Maphosa remanded Siziba in custody to today for sentence. He will also be sentenced for attempting to escape from lawful custody.
Siziba told the court that he stole the property to raise some money.
Prosecuting, Mrs Sithabile Daka-Mungombe said Siziba used the same modus operandi of forcibly opening closed doors and windows with an unknown object to gain into premises, where he would steal various kinds of properties.
A majority of the complainants managed to identify their property after Siziba’s arrest.
The total value of the stolen property was $152 358. Police have since recovered property worth $128 425 from the people that had bought it from Siziba.
The money was not recovered.
A probation officer recently recommended that Siziba should be treated as an adult for purposes of sentencing as he had failed to reform. The Herald