Taxi ‘thief’ remanded in custody

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Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Plumtree Correspondent
A MAN from Gwanda allegedly hired a Plumtree taxi driver in the middle of the night and connived with two other men along the way to rob him of his car.

Zibusiso Ndlovu (28) from Zhukwe West in Gwanda also allegedly stole $1 450 from his relative in Esigodini whom he sold the stolen car.

Ndlovu yesterday appeared on initial remand before Plumtree magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere facing robbery and fraud charges.

He was remanded in custody to January 24.

Prosecuting, Mrs Rose Sibanda said Ndlovu stole a Mazda Demio vehicle from Mr Shepherd Botha on December 2 at around 8PM.

“Ndlovu hired Mr Botha to ferry him from the Plumtree CBD to Macingwane area in Mangwe District and promised to pay him $50. Along the way, Ndlovu requested Mr Botha to stop the vehicle in a bushy area as he wanted to relieve himself.

“Mr Botha complied and Ndlovu disembarked from the car and headed for the bushes. Ndlovu returned with two other men who are still at large and they attacked Mr Botha,” she said.

Mrs Sibanda said Ndlovu and the other accomplices who are on the run forced Mr Botha out of the vehicle and drove away, leaving him behind.

She said Mr Botha returned to the border town on foot and reported the matter to the police.

Mrs Sibanda said Ndlovu then approached his brother-in-law, Mr Funnyboy Ndlovu, in Esigodini on January 5 and offered to sell him Mr Botha’s car for $2 000.

She said his brother-in-law agreed to buy the car and paid $1 450 as deposit.

“On 6 January Mr Funnyboy Ndlovu assigned his wife and young brother to make the payment and they also viewed the car. Ndlovu then promised to deliver the vehicle to his brother-in-law’s house on the same day but he disappeared with the car and money.

“Mr Ndlovu later realised that his brother-in-law had deceived him and he reported the matter to the police. Investigations were carried out leading to Ndlovu’s arrest,” Mrs Sibanda said.

The stolen vehicle was recovered.

Meanwhile, a South African national was allegedly intercepted at the Plumtree Border Post on Sunday in possession of a stolen vehicle that he was driving to Zambia.

Mzwandile Sobuza (35) of Johannesburg appeared before Magistrate Manwere facing theft charges. He was remanded in custody to January 24.

Prosecuting, Mrs Rose Sibanda said Sobuza connived with another South African national Michael Stopforth who is still at large to steal and sell the vehicle in Zambia.

“On 21 November last year Sobuza connived with Stopforth and stole a Mazda BT50 white vehicle from South Africa. Sobuza was then assigned to drive the vehicle from South Africa to Lusaka where he was going to dispose of it.

“He was arrested at the Plumtree Border Post on 8 January while driving the stolen car,” said Mrs Sibanda.

@DubeMatutu

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