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Pretoria - A Brits man who was sentenced to jail for three years on a charge of theft of a DVD machine had his sentence overturned in the Pretoria High Court when it emerged that he never took the machine out of the shop.
Tshepo Koketso Makhafola appealed against his three-year jail sentence after he was convicted in the Brits Magistrate’s Court.
The charge against him was that he unlawfully and intentionally stole a portable DVD machine valued at R700 from Game in Brits on March 23 last year.
Makhafola, who conducted his own defence, pleaded guilty to theft. He was subsequently questioned by the magistrate to ascertain whether he was indeed guilty.
In explaining what happened, Makhafola said he took the DVD from a shelf and placed it on top of another shelf.
Makhafola said although he did not walk out of the store with the DVD player, he was nevertheless arrested. The magistrate, however, confirmed his plea of guilty and imposed the three-year jail sentence.
Acting Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen said
: “In order to commit the crime of theft, the item in question must be removed from the control of the owner.”
The judge added that the magistrate should never have convicted him in the first place.