TWO BULAWAYO men convicted by a Bulawayo magistrate for fraudulently selling a house in a deal worth R97 450, had their case transferred to the High Court for sentencing after it was established that the sentence they deserve was above the magistrates courts’ jurisdiction.
Zenzo Moyo of Pelandaba and Mthandazo Ncube of Pumula East suburbs in Bulawayo were in April convicted by magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa, on fraud charges.
They were not sentenced, as the magistrate sent the matter to the senior public prosecutor (SPP) for the extension of jurisdiction.
The prosecutor later discovered that the accused had previous convictions.
According to State papers, this meant that Magistrate Courts had no jurisdiction to pass sentence and transferred the case to the High Court.
A letter gleaned by Southern Eye, written by the senior public prosecutor for Western Division, Martha Cheda, to the provincial magistrate dated September 5 2013 reads: “I hereby direct that the case be transferred to the High Court for sentence.”
Transferring the case to the High Court on Friday, Muchemwa wrote: “On September 6, the SPP met the trial magistrate, directing the matter be transferred to the High Court for sentence and the delay in sentencing the accused was beyond the trial magistrate.”
The court was told that on June 3 2012 the two heard that the complainant, Handsome Dube of Nketa 7 in Bulawayo was looking for a house to buy.
They hatched a plan to defraud him by claiming to be selling a house in Nkulumane.
The two then took Dube to view the house, where they only found children.
Dube showed interest in buying the house.
On June 4 the two met Dube at a shebeen in Lobengula West, where they drafted an agreement of sale, with the complainant paying R97 450 towards the purchase of the house.
It is the State case that when Dube wanted to move into the house, he discovered that the house was not being sold.
The matter was reported to the police and investigations led to the arrest of the two.
Dube was prejudiced of R97 450, which was not recovered.
Twitter feedback @silasnkala