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Court gives thief time off to mourn dead child

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A BULAWAYO woman, who had been convicted of theft at a flea market, was yesterday given some temporary reprieve to go and mourn her child who died after eating a poisonous flower.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Precious Mpofu (25) of Magwegwe North was yesterday given compassionate relief and allowed to go and bury her child who died in Nkayi yesterday.

Mpofu had been convicted of four counts of theft of flea market wares from her employers.

She broke the news of her child’s death in mitigation in court yesterday.

“I have a child, but the child died today (yesterday) in Nkayi. I was advised in the morning while I was in police holding cells that my child died after eating a poisonous flower in Nkayi where the child was under the care of my mother,” Mpofu said.

She, however, could not give concrete evidence to the court to show that it was indeed true her child had passed away prompting the magistrate to probe her and the complainants.

“If she’s telling the truth, we should show some compassion towards her and allow her to travel to Nkayi to go and bury her child. After she finishes, she will then come back and we conclude the case,” senior provincial magistrate Abednico Ndebele said.

“If she’s lying, then bad luck would follow her to the grave. I will give her one week to go to the funeral. If she decides not to come back when we have been compassionate with her, then bad luck.

“Go to Nkayi and bury your son or daughter and if you don’t come back that will be unfortunate for you,” Ndebele said.

The four complainants, Patrick Nkomo, Busisiwe Sibanda, Ntombizodwa Ndlovu and Julia Dube, who were in court during the proceedings, confirmed the news of the death of Mpofu’s child and agreed with the court to let her go.

Mpofu will return to court on February 3 for sentencing.

Prosecutor Raymond Makhaza told the court that between December 2014 and January this year, Mpofu stole several flea market wares belonging to the four and sold them.

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