‘Trusted’ domestic held for stealing

2016-01-14 10:08
A screenshot from a video taken by Craig Fry of a handcuffed Siyabonga Mkhwanazi. The video also shows police finding a ring and a gold watch belonging to Fry’s family among other things.

A screenshot from a video taken by Craig Fry of a handcuffed Siyabonga Mkhwanazi. The video also shows police finding a ring and a gold watch belonging to Fry’s family among other things. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A family's trusted assistant has been arrested after allegedly stealing more than R80 000 worth of jewellery and electronic gadgets over a few months.

Donnette Fry, from Athlone, said the most devastating part was when they allegedly caught her “best” assistant on camera stealing from them on the day of her mother’s funeral.

Now that the assistant, Siyabonga Mkhwanazi (24), has allegedly been caught and questioned by the family and police, the family believes he may be part of a syndicate involving local pawn shops.

“We would notice little things missing from the house, things like cables and games for the X-box,” alleged Craig Fry.

However, Fry said when he returned from Zimbabwe on December 23, his wife Donnette told him that her wedding ring was missing and their assistant had not returned to work.

Fry said he concocted a plan to catch the alleged thief “in the act”. The couple sent Facebook messages and texts to him saying they had his Christmas bonus and needed him to return to work to fetch the money. When Mkhwanazi arrived last Thursday the couple were on their way to Donnette’s mother’s funeral.

Fry said before they left to go to the memorial service, he set up a small camera in the house to record what happened.

A man is seen moving inside the house on the recording made by the camera.

He said when they arrived after the funeral and watched the video, they immediately called the police who searched Mklhwanzi’s room where they allegedly found some of the Fry’s belongings.

The family also recorded a video while police searched Mkhwanazi’s room and pockets. On the video, it shows police removing a gold watch and a ring from his belongings.

Fry added that the family were “absolutely shocked”.

Mkhwanazi appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday this week and was remanded in custody until his bail hearing on January 21.

Fry said among the jewellery stolen, the family’s external hard drive, laptop and video editing equipment was also stolen and was believed to be pawned at a local pawn shop.

“The police said they would also investigate the pawn shop because in order to pawn goods, one must produce their ID and other documents.”

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of housebreaking and theft was opened at the Townhill police station.

“It is alleged that a domestic worker broke into his employer’s house and stole jewellery,” said Zwane.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

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