A 22-year-old man, who seems to be making a living by stealing people’s cell phones, was this week arraigned before the Gaborone West Customary Court President, Kgosi Hambira, charged with stealing from a dwelling house.
Chaba Dimakatso, 22, who is unemployed, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to the charges of stealing from a house in Block 5 in Gaborone West. Chaba pleaded with the Gaborone West Customary Court to show mercy when sentencing him saying he was still young and wanted to go back to school to rebuild his life so that he could be a better person.
According to the evidence given to the court by the State Prosecutor from Gaborone West Police Station, Sgt Kgaogano Sefho, the accused, who stays in Old Naledi in Gaborone, went to Block 5 on September 18, 2006 and went into the house of the complainant, Kaboyakgosi Kebitsaone, 29, a student at the Botswana Agricultural College and stole her Nokia cell phone worth P1500.
Sgt Sefho told the court that Chaba went into the house using the main door which was not locked while the owner of the house, Kaboyakgosi, was in the bath room attending to someone who was laying her floor tiles. But Kaboyakgosi saw the accused inside her house. Chaba then bolted with her phone.
The man who was laying floor tiles, along with members of the public, arrested Chaba after a long chase. Chaba is said to have thrown the phone into a thicket as he sped away from his pursuers and was found with no phone when he was caught. But the people called the number and traced the sound to find the cell phone in a nearby bush.
Sgt Sefho told the court that he was not happy with the number of cell phone thieves in the area and asked the court to punish the accused so that others could learn from this. Sgt Sefho told the court that instead of police doing other jobs in the Gaborone West area, they are always chasing after cell phone thieves.
Kgosi Hambira sentenced him to four strokes on the bum and promised to send him straight to prison next time.