ID book hostage-taker will not serve jail time: report

2009-11-03 11:58

THE man who held a Department of Home Affairs employee hostage with

a toy gun will no longer have to serve a jail term, the Sowetan newspaper

reported today.

Kabelo Thibedi was sentenced in 2006 after holding Lanelle Small

hostage in an attempt to get his identity document (ID). But Thibedi appealed

his conviction and the South Gauteng High Court backdated his sentence two weeks

ago, which means he will not have to serve jail time.

“I am now free from all the stressful court appearances,” said

Thibedi, who was facing an effective 18 months in jail.

“The high court upheld his sentence but backdated his 18 months

sentence,” Thibedi’s lawyer Japhta Mphahlani told the daily newspaper. “This

means he is not going to jail.”

On November 30 2005, Thibedi locked himself and Small in a room for

about six hours, demanding his ID before he would release her. Home affairs

officials eventually brought the ID book to him from the department’s head

offices in Pretoria.

He now wants to start a non-governmental organisation to help

people who are struggling to get their ID books.

In September, a tearful Home Affairs minister, Nkosazana

Dlamini-Zuma, attended the funeral of a KwaZulu-Natal man who hanged himself

because he could not get his ID book in time to start a new job.

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