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Cape Town - A Johannesburg woman was sentenced to three years of community service for three counts of fraud by the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville, Cape Town, on Monday.
Nkensani Mabunda, 32, who fraudulently obtained loans totalling R690 000 from a bridging finance company between May and July 2008, will have to clean her local police station and other state-owned buildings for three years.
Although Mabunda qualified for the prescribed minimum prison sentence of 15 years, magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg concluded that there were reasons to impose a less severe sentence.
Wynand du Plessis, for Mabunda, had asked for a suspended prison sentence for the mother of three.
Prosecutor Derek Vogel told the court Mabunda had already repaid R440 134, which was a compelling reason for the court to be lenient.
He said the case had taken five years to reach a conclusion, which was “another substantial reason to deviate from the prescribed prison sentence”.
Vogel said the charge was at one stage withdrawn because of the “status” of the investigation.
“The police docket had been destroyed in a car smash, and the original investigating police officer had resigned,” Vogel said.
He said the charge was reinstituted, but that the inordinate delay in finalising the matter had to count in Mabunda's favour.
Mabunda was a first-time offender, and in the circumstances, a suspended jail sentence, coupled with a period of house arrest, would meet the interests of justice, Vogel said.
Sonnenberg said Mabunda had been driven by greed.
The delay in finalising the case was a compelling reason for not imposing the prescribed minimum sentence.