Playwright Welcome Msomi.
A debilitating stroke on 76-year-old veteran playwright Welcome Msomi has again delayed the sentencing of his R8 million theft conviction.

Msomi did not appear at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday when he was expected to be sentenced for stealing R8m from the Living Legends Legacy Programme (LLLP), where he was the trustee.

Msomi was found guilty on 61 counts of theft in October after a case was opened by the trustees, who discovered millions of rand missing from the bank account. The transactions occurred between September and October 2018.

Prosecutor Frans Mhlongo revealed on Wednesday in court that Msomi's ill health had again prevented the renowned performer from appearing for his sentencing.

The matter was postponed to later this month in order for medical records to be presented in court as to whether Msomi would be required to make an appearance again.

Although the nature of his illness was not revealed, The Star was reliably informed by sources close to Msomi that he had suffered a severe stroke in November - the month when he was first expected to be sentenced.

“You can imagine that, for someone of his advanced age to have that sort of stroke, I doubt he will be able to regain his full fitness,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

Singer Letta Mbulu, who serves as the chairperson of the trust, said in August last year that programmes had to be halted owing to a lack of funds.

“The problem is that we would love to continue with the programme but we do not have the money. This was the only amount we had in the bank. So right now we are in limbo and hoping that the government will give us some funding to finish up the programmes but that has not happened yet.”