Godfrey Ndaba, 25, from Muthombo Ward in Nlaphwane, this Friday pleaded guilty to stealing a Nokia 1600 cellphone worth P600 on May 4, 2006 at the University of Botswana campus.
State Prosecutor from Central Police Station, Constable Keorapetse, told Kgosi Monametsi in court that Ndaba saw the complainant, Makalang Modise, a driver at Naledi Motors, and asked for his cellphone saying he wanted to call his friend.
Keorapetse told the court that Ndaba then disappeared with the phone until he was arrested by the Central Police officers after a long time.
Ndaba no longer had the phone when he was arrested.
In mitigation, Ndaba asked the court not to send him to prison because he was sick and was taking medication at Princess Marina Hospital.
Kgosi Monametsi sentenced him to three strokes on the bare bottom and ordered him to pay compensation of P600 to the owner of the phone before November 20, 2006, failing which he would go to prison for five months.
Again on October 10, 2006, at Princess Marina Hospital, Ndaba saw Michael Batwaetse, a taxi driver, and borrowed his phone saying he wanted to call a friend.
Constable Keorapetswe told the court that after Ndaba was given the phone, a Nokia 3200 worth P999, he disappeared with it. He was only arrested after a long hunt but no longer had the phone when he was caught.
Ndaba told the court that he sold the phone to a person he did not know and he pleaded guilty to the charges of theft common.
On previous convictions, Constable Keorapetswe said two months earlier, Ndaba was arrested by the Central Police officers after he went to Babas pawn shop in Tlokweng and claimed that he wanted to buy a car. The proprietor then told him to go and get some cash.
Ndaba then asked the sales representative from Babas pawn shop to escort him as he was going to get a lot of money for the car.
The sales representative escorted him using Tlokweng kombis for which Ndaba paid for both of them.
Ndaba took his soon-to-be-victim to the University of Botswana, where he claimed he had won a tender.
On arrival at the university, Ndaba said he had to call someone and asked for the cellphone. He told the sales representative that he was going inside to straighten out a few things but proceeded to use the back door and disappeared.
Kgosi Kgosimotse Sebele, who presided over that case, sentenced Ndaba to five strokes on the bum.
Before passing the sentence, Kgosi Monametsi told the court that the accused was a serious criminal who targeted people with expensive cellphones.
He said Ndaba was a smooth criminal who knew how to convince people before stealing their phones.
Kgosi Monametsi sentenced Ndaba to one year in jail, wholly suspended for three years, plus five strokes on the bum. He also ordered Ndaba to pay P999 to the owner as compensation before November 30, 2006, failing which he would go to prison for six months.