Man jailed for stealing from the dead

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A Bulawayo man, Mthokozisi Ncube, has been jailed for four years after he and two of his accomplices impersonated a deceased man and his daughter, before selling a house belonging to the deceased.

The court heard that sometime in November 2008, Mthokozisi and Mthandazo Ncube and a woman who was not identified in court and is still at large, hatched a plan to sell a house belonging to the late Penius Mkhandla.

They placed an advertisement in the press claiming the late Mkhandla’s house, Number 3934 in Nketa 7 suburb, was on sale.

Antoinette Gwaza responded to the advertisement and met with Mthokozisi and Mthandazo, who advised her that the house was being sold for 72 000 pula.

The trio agreed to engage a lawyer to draft an agreement of sale

However, the lawyer advised them that he required the transaction to be witnessed by one of Mkhandla’s close relatives.

Mthokozisi and Mthandazo fraudulently acquired an identity document belonging to Mkhandla’s daughter, Saneliso.

They then took with them the unidentified woman, reportedly still at large, posing as Saneliso and presented themselves before the lawyer.

The woman tendered an affidavit claiming she was indeed Mkhandla’s biological daughter and was a true witness to the sale of the house.

Gwaza paid 47 000 pula to the trio after having agreed that the balance would be paid the following day.
However, the following day, Gwaza got wind that the house was listed on the late Mkhandla’s estate and was not for sale. It then dawned on her that she had made a transaction with impostors.

Gwaza immediately tried to locate the trio, but her efforts were fruitless. She later made a report to the police.

Police launched a manhunt for the trio, leading to the arrest of Mthokozisi and Mthandazo, but their alleged accomplice managed to escape.

Both Mthokozisi and Mthandazo denied the charge when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tancy Chipumha-Dube.

Mthokozisi was convicted after a full trial and was sentenced to four years in prison. One year was suspended on condition he paid restitution.
Another six months was suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Mthandazo was acquitted and discharged at the close of the state case for lack of evidence.