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Andile Tshuma, Court Reporter
A FLASHY South Africa-based Zimbabwean sangoma has been spared jail after a magistrate fined him $50 for wearing camouflage.
Bekezela Mlotshwa of Bulawayo’s Njube suburb was convicted on his own plea to unlawful possession or wearing comouflage by Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube.
Mlotshwa who was represented by former magistrate Mr Abednico Ndebele of Mathonsi-Ncube Law Chambers, came to court wearing an eye-catching purple suit, pink shirt and white shoes.
Passing sentence, Magistrate Ncube said: “The court will consider that the accused person is a first offender who pleaded guilty and as such did not waste the court’s time.”
He said the court also took into account that wearing camouflage was not a serious offence.
“The accused is therefore fined $50 which should be paid before April 28 or alternatively 30 days in prison,” he said.
In Mlotshwa’s defence, Mr Ndebele said his client should have been stopped from importing camouflage material at the border.
“My client never encountered any challenges importing camouflage clothing into the country at the border. He never had problems with customs officials, police officers and any other authorities until he was arrested by police officers on patrol at some shops in Njube suburb,” said Mr Ndebele.
He said his client was not wearing or selling Zimbabwean camouflage but was wearing American camouflage which is clearly labelled US army.
Prosecuting, Mr Chief Muteve said Mlotshwa was arrested last week after he was spotted by police officers clad in camouflage regalia.