Mboneni Dube, 23, a Zimbabwean, was arrested on October 5, 2006, having been caught searching patients and taking their belongings while they slept in a private ward at Princess Marina Hospital.
Dube was this Friday arraigned before the Urban Customary Court President, Kgosi Dikwalo Monametsi, charged with idling and disorderly conduct.
According to the State Prosecutor from the Central Police Station, Constable Thatayaone Mabhang, the court heard that Dube was arrested inside a private ward at the Hospital after patients alerted a security guard that there was a man moving from bed to bed searching them.
The prosecutor urged that Dube be punished telling the court that Dube was a very cruel person who went into a hospital to steal from helpless patients.
In mitigation, Dube asked the court to forgive him and urged the court not to send him to prison, saying his wife had just given birth at the same hospital where he wanted to steal from. He told the court that he had another child to look after.
Kgosi Monametsi told Dube that it was very cruel to try to steal from the sick. He told him that he deserved to go to jail and pay for what he did. Monametsi said Dube was lucky because he was a first offender but then sentenced him to four strokes on the bum, promising stiffer punishment next time.
In another case, Chris Makoroni, 26, also from Zimbabwe, was brought before the same court charged with theft.
Constable Mabhang told the court that Makoroni was employed by Daniel Johannes Hugo, from Potgiersrus in South Africa, who is the owner of Logistical Support Management Cbbolar Botswana.
Mabhang said Makoroni was given the keys to the storeroom where they were working at BIAC and he stole tools worth P6 037 80. He revealed that police were able to recover tools worth P5 481-80 from Makoroni. The tools, the court heard, included generators, spanners, side cutters and more than 50 other varied spanners.
In mitigation, Makoroni told the court that he was the one taking care of his wife and child back home. He pleaded guilty and asked the court for mercy as a first offender.
He was sentenced to five strokes on his bare bottom.