Thabo Lekwae, one of the convicted in the P21 million Central Medical Stores fraud case, on Friday left the Southern Regional Magistrate Court smiling after Southern Regional Magistrate Barnabas Nyamazabo sentenced him to 28 months imprisonment for each of the two counts he was facing. The sentences will run concurrently.
Lekwae was also ordered to compensate the government.
Passing the sentence on Lekwae, Nyamazabo said that he had taken into consideration all what Lekwae said in mitigation, such as he being married and with young children.
He also said that he had considered the fact that Lekwae had voluntarily handed himself to the police after he heard that the police were looking for him whilst he was in South Africa where he was training as a pastor.
Nyamazabo said that Lekwae had shown remorse.
On Lekwae’s request that he should not be given custodial sentence, Nyamazabo said that Lekwae could not expect to be left to go free after committing the crime by depriving the government of money meant for providing services to the nation.
After the sentence, a smiling Lekwae kissed his wife and chatted with his prosecutors and told them that he would not appeal the sentence.
”I am scared that if I appeal they will increase my sentence,” he said with a broad smile.
Asked how he intends to compensate the government, he said, “My church will pay.”
His co-accused, Patrick Cole, Abram Marumo, Bushy Nthibo, Norman Maja and David Tumagole, are already serving their sentences after they were convicted by current Lobatse High Court judge Lot Moroka.