A 20-year old man from Tlokweng landed himself in trouble when, in mitigation, he told the Urban Customary Court President, Kgosi Dikwalo Monametsi, that he stole the phone to help himself.
The man, Thato Abendico Kavendi, of Boshibidung Ward, told the court that he didn’t have money so he decided to steal a phone and sold it to a stranger.
Kavendi, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty to charges of theft common.
Constable Matombo of Central Police Station told the court that officers arrested Kavendi after a long hunt. He said on October 6, 2006, at Maruapula, Kavendi stole an LG 1200 cellphone worth P895 belonging to Louis Letsididi.
Before passing the sentence Kgosi Monametsi told the court that young criminals who steal cellphones were putting an unnecessary strain on the police.
He said Botswana was no longer a safe place because of these petty thieves who rob people of their belongings in broad daylight.
Monametsi said soon, investors would start to shun Botswana because of these criminals. He said it was time for his court to give criminals stiff punishment to discourage the habit.
Kgosi Monametsi sentenced Kavendi to five strokes on the bare bottom and told him to pay the owner P895 in compensation before November 30, 2006.