Habitual shoplifter blames ancestors

A well-known elderly serial shoplifter, popularly known as umarobane in Victoria Falls, yesterday blamed his ancestral spirits and his wife for bewitching him into being a thief.

Nokuthaba Dlamini
Own Correspondent

Originally from Tsholotsho, Alfred Jiyane (68), now resident at Chinotimba Township in Victoria Falls, was dragged to court for allegedly stealing two boxes of cigarettes from a Fortwell Wholesale on Friday.

He is not a newcomer to the courts, as he has been fined about four times this year for similar crimes.

“I am suffering your worship, I have problems with my legs since 1981,” he told the court.

“I used to run a tuckshop in Tsholotsho and my wife bewitched me.

“I left her in the rural areas because of her witchcraft as I was sick and couldn’t walk.”

Jiyane claimed his wife wanted to kill him that is why he left her, although now he had to rely on theft to get money for food and rentals.

“I am also possessed by ancestral spirits and I have never had rest,” he continued.

“I hear some voices forcing me to go and steal and I immediately do it. As I speak, my feet are burning, I want to go and steal again because of the voices.”

The State alleges Jiyane entered Fortwell Wholesale in the resort town and stole one 10×20 Madison and one 10×20 Everest cigarette pack, which he hid inside his T-shirt and walked out of the shop.

Jiyane was apprehended by a security guard who had him under surveillance and noticed that he had put cigarettes under his T-shirts and was trying to leave without paying.

The cigarettes, valued at $22, were recovered, leading to his arrest.

In March he was fined $30 or three weeks in jail for stealing a bottle of perfume at TM Supermarket.

In April he stole a piece of meat from Seven Eleven supermarket, which he hid under his armpits and was fined $20 or alternatively two weeks in jail.

In August he was also sentenced to pay a fine of $100 or three weeks imprisonment after he had stolen a pair of trousers and hid it in his underwear at a Topics retail outlet.

Jiyane was remanded to tomorrow for sentencing.

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