N$1 000 fine for stealing shampoo

By IAfrica
In Namibia
Feb 26th, 2014

WINDHOEK – A 28-year-old father of two minors was sentenced to pay a fine of N$1 000 or face six months in jail for stealing shampoo and after-shave from a supermarket.

Abina Katjihanda pleaded guilty on Monday to a charge of theft before Magistrate Jermaine Muchali Muchali.

He stole three Clear anti-dandruff shampoo for men – and three Gill Bump after-shave valued at N$248.75 from Tré supermarket on Saturday 22 February, 2014.

After his rights to legal representation were explained to him Katjihanda indicated to the court that he would defend himself.

After the charge was put to him and his plea was accepted by the court, Magistrate Muchali Muchali took pains to inform the accused of his opportunity in mitigation to persuade the court to impose a lesser sentence. In mitigation Katjihanda informed the court he was 28 years old and lived with his girlfriend and two children in Agste Laan.

He said that he works as a supplier at a local marketing agency and earns a salary of N$2 000 per month.

According to Katjihanda one of his children goes to kindergarten and he has to pay for her transport while he also has to pay for his own transport to work.

State prosecutor Erich Naikaku said that what makes the offence aggravating is that Katjihanda did not steal “everyday items”, but luxury goods. He said that crimes of this nature are becoming an everyday occurrence and the fines the court hands down seem to have no effect.

According to Naikaku, while Katjihanda is a first offender who pleaded guilty at the first opportunity presented to him a deterrent sentenced must be passed.

In sentencing Muchali Muchali said that while he did plead guilty and not waste the court’s time, it remains a fact that he committed an offence and must be punished accordingly.

He said that Katjihanda now has a record that will reflect on him forever. Muchali Muchali told Katjihanda he considered his personal circumstances and the court would be lenient and not impose the maximum sentence of N$6 000.

By Roland Routh

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