By Danisa Masuku
A teacher who duped a woman of R35 000 and US$1 050 -00 in a botched building material deal has been found guilty and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Three months were suspended on condition that the accused does not commit an offence of dishonesty within a period of three years.
The court also suspended six months on the condition that Mzokhulu Ncube (45) restitutes Zenzile Mahlangu (38) US$3 550 through the Clerk of Bulawayo magistrates court by 30 November 2020. The remaining three months were suspended on condition that the accused pays a fine of $5 000 by 30 November.
Magistrate Amanda Moyo said the accused was a first-time offender. However, the magistrate said it was not cast in the stone that first-time offenders should be spared a jail term.
In his defence, Ncube said he was the sole bread winner who was employed as a teacher and supplemented his income through vocational skills.
The magistrate said the court would afford the accused an opportunity to reform as he was a first time offender.
She said community service may not be appropriate in this case as the accused was employed and the court was alive to the fact that community service would have an adverse effect on his employment.
Circumstances that led to Ncube’s arrest are that at a date not known to the prosecutor but in May last year Mahlangu was introduced to Ncube, a teacher at Eastview High School.
Representing the State, Hardlife Mhaka said: “Mahlangu allegedly gave Mzokhulu US$1 050 -00 for the purchase of window panes and door frames for her house which is under construction in Trenance suburb,” he said.
The court heard that Ncube allegedly squandered the money and told the unsuspecting Mahlangu that he was waiting for an order from South Africa.
In April last year he allegedly phoned Mahlangu and asked for a second payment saying he wanted to order a lot of building material for her so that she would complete building her house quickly.
Mahlangu, the court heard, was enticed by that and allegedly gave him R35 000 so that he could buy building material that included an aluminum frame.
The court heard that Mahlangu tried in vain to call Ncube but his phone went straight to voicemail.
Prosecutor Hardlife Mhaka said that raised eyebrows, prompting Mahlangu to look for him and she found him at Eastview High School.
When she asked him for her money, the court heard, Ncube changed goal posts, forcing Mahlangu to file a police report leading to his arrest. B Metro