Fraud offender ‘finally free from pain’

2018-06-27 16:53
Thatheni Zondi.

Thatheni Zondi. (Supplied)

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Inkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi, of Mpumuza Tribal Authority, says his late wife, Thatheni Zondi, is finally at peace after the pain she suffered during her much-publicised fraud trial.

Zondi died in Grey’s Hospital on Monday after a long battle with breast cancer.

In April she was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to defrauding the South African Revenue Services of over R11 million between 2007 to 2011, saying that she was ill-advised by those who were helping her with the finances of her construction company.

She was appealing her sentence at the time of her death.

“She was publicly shamed for everyone’s amusement. The priority was to send her to jail and no one cared that she was severely sick even when she was ushered into court laying on a wheeled stretcher bed, under the watchful eye of paramedics,” said Inkosi Zondi.

He said the cancer, which eventually spread to the neck and lungs, was already at the advanced stage when she was sentenced. “We believe that being dragged to jail, even after she paid back the money, exacerbated her condition. She was also worried about me because she was the one who was taking care of me since I had a stroke in 2014,” he said.

The family was engaged in several verbal spats with the correctional services officials as they believed she was treated unfairly. “She would come to court in an ambulance with handcuffs and shackles on her even when she was brought in on a hospital stretcher and had an oxygen tank with her.

“Each time we would question the necessity of the things they did they would just say they were doing their jobs,” said her daughter, Nomathemba Zondi.

She said her mother had been in hospital since she was granted R20 000 bail last month.

“We are not saying that mom was a saint, but some of the things she was put through during the trial were just cruel. Some of the people she considered friends, who previously called her whenever they needed her, were ashamed of her,” she said.

The family said the doctors did everything they could and they now find consolation in knowing that she is no longer in pain.

Zondi will be laid to rest in Mpumuza on Saturday. She is survived by her husband and three children.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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