TWO women from Bulawayo have been sentenced to nine months in prison for stealing cellphones during a burial at Luveve cemetery.
Nolwazi Dube (18) and Minenhle Mare (25) from Pumula suburb stole a Samsung J6 belonging to Ms Talent Ndiweni (26) and Ms Thembo Hlalaphi’s (26) Samsung J2 both valued at $3 500.
Dube and Mare pleaded guilty to two counts of theft before Western Commonage magistrate Ms Tancy Dube.
The magistrate sentenced Dube to six months in prison before suspending three months. She suspended another three months on condition that Dube performs 105 hours of community service at Pumula Police Station.
Ms Dube also sentenced Mare to an effective three months in prison.
The State, represented by Mr Tapiwa Solani, said the two women stole the cellphones last week on Thursday at around 11AM.
“The accused persons were given a Samsung J2 cellphone by Ms Hlalaphi for safe keeping while she was busy with burial. After the burial the accused persons sold the phone,” he said.
On count two on the same day, Dube and Mare hatched a plan to steal a cellphone from Ms Ndiweni.
“The accused persons pretended to be asking for time from the complainant before snatching her Samsung J6, and ran away,” Mr Solani said.
Ms Hlalaphi testified that when she gave Dube and Mare her cellphone, they used it to record the proceedings.
She said Dube is her niece.
“I was burying a relative and I handed over my phone to my niece who was taking a funeral video. By the time I was placing flowers on the grave, the accused persons were nowhere to be found. They sold my phone without my consent,” she said.
The total value of stolen cellphones was $ 3 500 and nothing was recovered.