Cynthia Dube, Court Reporter
A SUSPECTED thief from Bulawayo who got stuck for two days in a chimney while on a mission to steal yesterday made a U-turn and denied the offence.
On Thursday he had confessed to unlawful entry and theft.
Andrea Zunga (33) of Makokoba suburb appeared before magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya, who remanded him in custody to April 10 for commencement of trial.
“I didn`t steal anything. I was trapped inside the chimney while l was trying to enter the building,” he said.
Zunga was part of a gang of three that hatched a plan to enter Thabiso Youth Centre in the same suburb through the building’s two chimneys on Monday night.
The court heard that Zunga’s partners Bernard Khona and Phillip Zobe, are still at large.
He is now widely known as Zungu or Mgijimi, a zombie from popular South African soapie, Isibaya.
The names have stuck after pictures of Zunga looking like the powdered zombie soon after being rescued from the chimney, were posted on The Chronicle website on Wednesday.
Prosecuting, Ms Leane Nkomo said on March 29 at around 9AM, Thabiso Youth Centre official Ms Sibonginkosi Masuku heard a hoarse voice from the chimney and suspected that there was someone who was trapped inside.
“Ms Masuku then informed police and the Fire Brigade. The accused person was rescued from the chimney by the fire brigade team through destroying the chimney,” said Ms Nkomo.
“The accused person confessed to the police that he had come to steal from the youth centre with his friends who managed to get out using another chimney. He said he used the wrong chimney and he got stuck for two days.”
The prosecutor said Khona and Zobe managed to get away with a Lenovo laptop, two computer speakers, two monitors, a Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a leather jacket.