Hung out to dry

HUNG OUT: Displaying part of the stolen ‘loot’

Petty thief whipped for stealing neighbour’s laundry

A 28-year-old petty thief had his buttocks warmed up on a chilly Wednesday morning after he pleaded guilty to stealing a neighbour’s laundry.

Although his bare bum received a four-stroke roasting, Obusitswe Jalabane got off relatively lightly as he faced a potential jail sentence and a fine, had the owner of the clothes not chosen to forgive him.

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Instead, Keditshetse Seiphetleng, 39, accepted his used and torn garments back without demanding compensation.

The incident dates back to February, when Jalabane, of Maun’s Thito ward, snuck into Seiphetleng’s backyard and pinched the clothes that were hanging out to dry.

The following morning, a shocked Seiphetleng awoke to find his laundry, including four t- shirts, a pair of shorts, a skirt and a pair of takkies worth P600, had gone.

Explaining what happened next, Police Prosecutor, Liberty Matikiti, told court, “He had no idea who could have stolen them so he did not report the matter until on 02nd May, 2022.”

It was not until a chance meeting in a local shop, when Seiphetleng bumped into Jalabane wearing a top suspiciously similar to one of his stolen ones, that he began to piece the puzzle together.

“He summoned him to his house where he asked him about the February theft. Jalabane admitted to have stolen the clothes and even went ahead and produced them,” continued the police offer.

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Seiphetlheng then reported the matter to the cops after reportedly discovering some of the items had been cut with scissors to alter their appearance.

Asked if he wanted compensation, the merciful complainant said all he desired was to be given his laundry back.

Building his defence, Jalabane swiftly confessed to the crime but begged not to be sentenced to prison as he has a blind mother and young child to care for.

In his ruling, Kgosi Leretetse Mogalakwe pointed out that while the offence carries a three-year jail term, he would not send the thief to prison.

However, while his freedom was spared, Jalabane’s bottom could not escape a hot date with the cane as the kgosi sentenced him to four lashes as ‘medicine’ for him to stop stealing.

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