Petty thief gets six lashes on bare buttocks

A 32-year-old petty thief learnt the hard way that crime does not pay after he was fired from work, lashed six times on the bare buttocks and ordered to pay for the spark plugs he was caught on camera stealing.

On Tuesday this week, Batista Alfred admitted before the Maun customary court that he indeed emptied a packet containing four spark plugs into his pocket on February, 25th when he thought no body was watching.

Then he was an employee of Highway Toyota Ngami.

“I was working on a Saturday and I took them with intention to do an invoice once I report for duty on Monday,” Alfred told the court.

He added that on Monday however he never got the chance to do the invoice as by the time he got to the workplace the theft had been discovered and management was questioning other employees.

“I heard them talking about security cameras so in panic I sneaked to where the camera was and cut the cables,” Alfred confessed.

In so doing he thought he had destroyed the evidence only for his face to show in the CCTV cameras while he was snipping the cable off with a pair of scissors.

“I took the plugs to fix my car because I could not afford them at the time,” Alfred said.

Nonetheless he was suspended from work and later fired for theft. However the management felt that Alfred did not operate on his own but as part of an organised group.

“We wanted to know who he was operating with and he did not want to tell us,” explained parts manager, Keokgale Kalayakgosi who was leading evidence in court on behalf of the company.

However police indicated that Alfred was not a difficult witness as he long admitted to the crime as charged.

The court said the leniency they extended to him was to save him from a seven year prison term, by whipping the theft behaviour out of him as a correctional measure.

“I can give you a seven year imprisonment, but I am not going to send you to jail, you will get six cane lashes and then you will pay Highway Toyota Ngami P575.95 which is the cost of the spark plugs” explained presiding chief, Kgosi Oleyo Ledimo.

In conclusion Ledimo instructed Alfred to pay back money within the next three months failure of which he would have to serve a six months jail term. Both parties were given 30 days to appeal against the judgment if they were not happy with it, while the lashes were administered immediately after the judgment.

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