Knife thief whipped

Christinah Motlhabane
WHIPPED: Thipe was driven to steal by desperation

An unemployed man caught stealing knives from Marang Super Spar in Francistown was given a sharp reminder that crime doesn’t pay after being sentenced to four strokes on the bare bum for theft.

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Keen not to waste court’s time when appearing before Block 5 Customary Court last week, 32-year-old Basimane Borolong Thipe admitted to trying to take the knives, valued at P560, on Wednesday 7 June.

Thipe might have got away with the cutlery had he not spilled his thebes whilst paying for bread at the till.

With the knives tucked under his shirt, the would-be thief was unable to bend over to retrieve his money.

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Noticing his struggles, the security guard became suspicious; a quick search of Thipe and the hidden knives were uncovered.

Pleading for leniency, Thipe told court he committed the crime out of desperation.

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“May this court have mercy on me because I pleaded guilty and it was my first time stealing. Unemployment led me to theft as I needed some money, this is my fourth month being unemployed. I have been relying on my relatives who are now tired, that is why I decided to steal,” he said.

Taking this into account, Customary Court Chief, Sam Masunga also noted the accused did not gain anything from his illegal actions as the knives were retrieved.

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However, the chief further pointed out he could not simply let Thipe’s actions go unpunished.

“Shoplifting is a concern in my jurisdiction; therefore I sentence the accused to four strokes,” ruled Chief Masunga, adding he hopes the fate of Thipe’s whipped bottom will act as a deterrent to others tempted to steal.

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