Equipment thief sentenced

2019-06-12 06:01

A MAN who pleaded guilty to stealing musical equipment valued at over R500 000 was recently given an eight-year suspended sentence by the Pietermaritzburg regional court.

Siyabonga Ngema said he wanted to sell the equipment to pay his debt. However, he did not and the equipment was recovered by police.

He said that from 2011 to 2014, he was a student at a music school in Church Street. After he finished his studies, he began to look for a job. He then started going back to the music school, where he assisted music students as a volunteer.

In 2016, he started organising music gigs to earn some money.

“I met different people from around SA through music,” he said.

Ngema said that he and a friend organised a music gig in Cape Town, under the theme “Africa Unite”. The objective was to fight the scourge of violence against foreigners.

Ngema said he then decided to take two digital mixers from the music school without telling the director, Nhlanhla Mnikathi.

His intention was to use the equipment and then return it.

On November 24, 2016, he said he went to the school as normal and took the equipment without anyone seeing what he did.

He then took the equipment to Cape Town and the show took place. Afterwards, he and the other organiser realised that they did not make a profit.

They were in debt and owed artists and other people money.

He said he then tried to get money to pay the debt, and when that failed, he told his friend to sell the equipment because it was rarely used at the music school. The items remained with the friend. Meanwhile, Mnikathi opened a case and police tracked Ngema and recovered the equipment.

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