A Zimbabwean petty thief paid too much before choosing to steal some shorts worth P24 99 at a Pep Store at the South Ring Mall on September 9, 2006.
Douglas Matamba, 28, from Harare, Zimbabwe, was this week arraigned before the Urban Customary Court President, Kgosi Dikwalo Monametsi, charged with theft common and pleaded guilty to the charges.
State Prosecutor from Central Police Station, Constable Ditiro Phirinyana, told the court that the accused is a well-known customer at Pep Store.
Phirinyana said Matamba is well known by the staff members who, on the day in question, had just received P25 for lunch from Mutamba.
After donating the lunch money, Mutamba moved around the shop then took a muscle top and some shorts worth P24 99 and slipped unnoticed into the dressing room, wore the shorts under his trousers but was noticed by one of the staff members while trying to leave the shop with the stolen items. Mutamba denied wearing anything under his trousers.
Phirinyana told the court that after realizing that one of the shop assistants hade found two hangers in the dressing room and had seen that he (Mutamba) was wearing two pairs of trousers, Mutamba tried to bribe her with P50 but the shop assistant refused to take the money. Seeing that he was about to be body searched, Mutamba bolted but was arrested by members of the public after a long chase. He was then body searched and found wearing two pairs of trousers.
Phirinyana produced the stolen shorts in court as part of the evidence. The Urban Customary Court later gave the piece of clothing back to the shop.
Kgosi Monametsi sentenced Mutamba to four strokes on the bum and promised a stiffer punishment the next time.