Chimney trapped ‘thief’ now a celebrity

Andrea Zunga

Andrea Zunga

Cynthia Dube, Court Reporter
A SUSPECTED thief from Bulawayo who became a prisoner of his own scheme after he got stuck for two days in a chimney appeared in court yesterday.

Andrea Zunga (33) of Makokoba suburb 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.

Zunga 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.

The court heard that Zunga’s partners in crime, Bernard Khona and Phillip Zobe, are still at large.

He appeared before Bulawayo Magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya facing a charge of unlawful entry and theft.

Zunga pleaded guilty and Mr Tashaya remanded him in custody to tomorrow for mitigation and sentence.

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 retrieved 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.

— @cynthiamthembo1

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