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Saved by the bell

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An Insuza businesswoman charged of stealing Vice-President John Nkomo’s cattle in connivance with two former employees at the VP’s farm, heaved a sigh of relief on Friday after the State withdrew charges against her.

Pretty Tshabangu had pleaded not guilty when two of her alleged accomplices, Qhawe Sibanda and Nhlanhla Siziba, were convicted in April.

The two were subsequently sentenced to nine years in prison by Bulawayo magistrate Victor Mpofu after he ordered for separation of the trial.
Sibanda and Siziba are already serving time at Khami Prison.

When Tshabangu returned to court on Friday, the State, represented by Goodluck Katenaire, applied for the withdrawal of charges after plea and indicated they would proceed by way of summons.

The State had alleged sometime in November 2009, Tshabangu connived with Sibanda and Siziba to steal Nkomo’s cattle promised to pay upon delivery.

Sibanda and Siziba stole two beasts to supplement their incomes, claiming Nkomo was underpaying them.

After stealing the beasts, the pair failed to locate Tshabangu and decided to leave the cattle at Elister Sibanda’s homestead for safekeeping.

They returned after two weeks and were paid R2 000 for one of the beasts and shared the spoils.

However, the theft was later discovered and a report was made to the police leading to their arrest and the suspected buyer, Tshabangu.

Two beasts worth $1 000 were recovered.

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