Woman ordered to repay stolen R1 mln

2016-05-11 10:30

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Pietermaritzburg - A 29-year-old woman, Annalease Jane Mbaraga, was given a wholly suspended 12-year jail sentence on Tuesday on condition that she repays her former employer over R1 million, which she admittedly stole.

She stole the money from Kinsey Engineering in Richmond while she was working there as a bookkeeper.

Mbaraga stole over R4,4 million according to court documents, but had already repaid just over R3 million, leaving a balance of R1 618 173,16.

In terms of a plea and sentence agreement reached in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court yesterday, Mbaraga has to repay her former employer, Michael Kinsey R672 000 by today (May 11), followed by payment of R809 086,58 (including pension money due to her) on or before May 11, 2018.

She also has to pay interest on the latter amount by August 11, 2018.

The repayment of the money is a condition of her jail sentence being suspended.

The sentence was imposed by regional magistrate Bhekizitha Phoswa, who said he was satisfied the sentence is just.

According to her plea, Mbaraga is married with a child. She is currently unemployed and is living in accommodation provided for her, her husband and her child by a family member.

She said she grew up in a family ­subscribing to Christian values and principles. She lived in Baynesfield and Richmond and attended school in Pietermaritzburg as a day pupil.

While she did well academically she says she felt “marginalised” and alienated socially as a result of the fact that she did not live in the local community and was seen as a “farm girl”.

Despite this she was head girl of her primary school and a prefect in high school.

Due to financial constraints, Mbaraga did not initially enrol for tertiary education and ended up working for Kinsey Engineering where she was given “significant responsibilities” in spite of her lack of training and experience.

“At the same time, her peers were at university and she saw them as living a fancy life,” according to her statement.

Mbaraga undertook evening classes and after three years graduated in the field of Business Administration.

As a result of her “unlawful activities” and “certain chronic emotional turmoil”, which was largely related to these, she had attempted suicide during 2009, the court heard.

According to her plea, she met her husband in 2010 and fell pregnant the following year. As a result of her pregnancy, the father of her child, now her husband, was cut off financially by his family. She undertook to support them until he found employment in 2012.

Some factors taken into account in Mbaraga’s favour were that she always intended to plead guilty and co-operated fully with the police and Kinsey when the theft was discovered; that she showed remorse; was a first offender; and that she intends to repay the money in full.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  court

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