Akhona’s theft case proceeds as she rejects ‘second chance’

2014-02-27 13:44

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Former Generations actress Maggie Benedict has rejected a “second chance” from the state.

Benedict today appeared at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court on a charge of stealing a packet of Panado worth R17.45 from Checkers in Cresta Mall, Joburg, in December.

On Friday, Benedict released a statement on her Facebook page, claiming she was innocent.

“I am innocent of this alleged crime and there was no basis for the arrest. Every item in my possession was paid for including the tablets I’d purchased weeks earlier that were still unopened,” she said.

She also indicated that she would not accept the state’s diversion offer.

Justinus Rangaka, an attorney who has been following the case, said: “A diversion is like a second chance. It is offered to a person who has been accused of a minor offence, like stealing.” He said it was an out of court settlement that requires an individual to take responsibility for their actions without admitting guilt. The accused would then receive community service and their record would be “kept clean”. Benedict said she declined the offer because she considered it to be a “lie that gets me out of this”. Today, her lawyer, Jonathan Kaiser of O’Connell Attorneys, requested further evidence from the prosecution. The case was postponed to March 13 for this purpose.

Benedict, who rose to fame as Akhona on the popular SABC 1 soapie Generations, dodged the media and made a speedy exit through the back entrance after her less-than-15-minute court appearance.

Rangaka said since Benedict had declined the diversion, the matter would now go to trail.

“If she is found guilty during the trail, then she would likely get a fine and have a criminal record.”

Earlier this week, Maggie Benedict shared this picture on her Facebook page from a user who said: “I believe you, this is what I have inside my bag.” Picture: Busisiwe Dube Nkomo/Facebook

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