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Ex-Amazulu winger Thulani Cele jailed 18 months in Georgia for stealing cellphone

Former DStv Premiership side Amazulu FC winger Thulani Cele is reportedly serving an 18 month jail term in Georgia for allegedly stealing a cellphone.

His aunt Nonhlahla Shongwe confirmed: “We can confirm that Thulani Cele is still in prison in Georgia. He has been sentenced to 18 months for robbery [stealing a phone]. He was advised to plead guilty for a lesser sentence.

“He had a legal representative in Georgia. According to his lawyer, Thulani [Cele] took a cell phone to make a call home.

“There was no force or robbery as they claimed. He returned the phone; even the owner of the phone confirmed this.

“Also there was a language barrier during the case which could have affected the matters. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive any assistance from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation,” she told Thabiso Mosia of SAFM.

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According to a South African publication FARPost, the 22-year-old attacker “reported to be missing last year after going for a bogus trial in Georgia and he was later found to have been detained.”

This comes after an unknown agent had allegedly organised trials for him at Georgia’s First Division side FC Gagra.

However, upon his arrival, the overseas trials turned out to be a scam.

Cele’s sister, Shongwe told FARPost the family “has been able to speak to Thulani; he still says he didn’t steal the phone”.

She also said her brother “was sentenced on the 4th of December but prior to that he had been detained from the 2nd of June last year.

“We are still not sure if the sentence will be backdated because we haven’t seen the court documents. But the most comforting thing is that he seems to be doing better than we expected.”