The Maun Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Kelebogile Johannes of Maun to one year in prison, with three months wholly suspended for defrauding Get Bucks, a cash loan agency in attempt to secure a loan from them.
The 35-year-old is alleged to have tried to deceive a sales agent of Get Bucks, Gosego Theo by claiming to be an employee of North West District Council (NWDC), the intention being to defraud the agency the sum of P69 000 in loan application.
According to court papers, Johannes knowingly and fraudulently uttered false documents of Bank Statements, salary advice slip and confirmation of employment letter purporting to have come from Banc ABC and NWDC respectively.
In his mitigation plea, the accused person pleaded for the court to be lenient on him and treat him as a first time offender when passing the sentence. Johannes further pleaded that the court should also take into consideration that he is a responsible family man who was only trying to fend for his family.
“I also plead for the court to be lenient on me as the offence was not executed successfully and I did not benefit from it,” the accused person further appealed.
Delivering the verdict, presiding Magistrate Keneilwe Kgoadi indicated that the accused person’s defense that he had the responsibility to care for his family was not a valid reason arguing that such responsibilities apply to other family heads but one should be grounded enough on their morals to earn an honest leaving and not resort to defrauding others.
“Such offences are becoming prevalent in our societies with unsuspecting individuals becoming prey to predators pretending as desperate care takers, such an offence takes time and premeditation to execute,” Kgoadi stressed.
Kgoadi added that this shows that there was no conscious or any sense of remorse when this transaction was done as the accused person returned the following day with hopes of collecting the said cheque.
The magistrate concluded that the likes of Johannes and other potential fraudsters have to be deterred from committing such an offence and they need to be shown that there is no justification for their actions.
With three months wholly suspended, this means that convicted Johannes will only serve 9 months of his one-year sentence.